Important Questions And Answers Regarding A Last Will And Testament In Texas

Daren Brown
By Daren Brown | March 21, 2019
Your Will is a matter of estate planning. The specifics of drafting and revising this document are more complicated than most people understand, so you should consult an attorney before starting the process. An attorney can answer any questions you have, ranging from the basic to the complex. It is important that you specifically detail your final wishes in a Last Will and Testament. In this article we’ll review some basic information on Last Will and Testaments.

When can I make a Will?

According to Texas law, anyone who is over the age of 18 and of sound mind can make a will. There are three interesting exceptions to this rule that allow individuals under the age of 18 to make a will, but they have to fit into one of three categories. Specifically, they have to:

  1. Be married, or

  2. Be in the military, or

  3. Be in maritime service

Due to the age of these younger individuals and the circumstances they are entering into, it is a good idea to have an attorney attached to the process. They are still required to be of sound mind and adhere to all laws governing will construction.

How official does a Will have to be?

A Will is a formal legal process.

  • It must be in writing.

  • It must be signed by the person making it.

  • It must be signed by two witnesses

If you are unable to sign your Will due to physical impairment, you must give certain directives.

  • Direct someone else to write and sign the Will on your behalf.

  • You must state that it is your last will and testament and that it reflects your desires.

  • The witnesses must hear the directives given and watch them be carried out as instructed.

The state of Texas also recognizes Holographic Wills (Wills that are completely handwritten).

While these Wills do not need to be validated by witnesses; they do need to be written entirely in the hand of the person making the will and signed by that person. To change a Holographic Will, follow one of the steps below (amendments should also be handwritten).

How do I change or void my Will?

You can revoke or change your Will up until the day you die. Your Will needs to reflect your most current wishes of how your personal property will be dispensed, who gets that property, and when they get it and occasionally revisions will need to be made.That’s why; Wills are often referred to as living documents.

To change all or part of a last will and testament:

  • Draft a new copy of the document

  • File an amendment called a codicil. This will revoke or change part of the original version.

  • Destroy the original will.

These are just some of the questions that affect estate planning, there are many more. Please get the expert guidance of an attorney like, Darin Mitchell of Stockard, Johnston, Brown & Netardus, P.C. in Amarillo, Texas before trying to navigate this on your own. Contact Stockard, Johnston & Brown, P.C. today. Don’t put this critical element of estate planning off.

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photo credit: ell brown via photopin cc

Topics: Estate Planning