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Preparation of Wills in Texas

Drafting of will is always of great responsibility for any individual. A valid will makes sure the heirs inherit the property without any trouble. Below is a short analysis of Texas wills:

What is the need of a Texas will?

A will that is often called the “last will and testament”, helps you protect your heirs and their rights. You can make use of a will to:

  • Leave your property to people or organizations
  • Name a guardian to look after your minor children
  • Name a person to administer the property you leave to your minors, and
  • Name an executor who will make sure the terms of your will are carried out

What if someone dies without a will?

If someone dies in the state of Texas without a will, his/her property will be distributed as per the state “intestacy” laws. The intestacy law of Texas distributes the deceased’s property to the closest relatives, beginning with the spouse and children. However, if the deceased has neither a spouse nor any children, the grandchildren (if any) or the deceased’s parents will inherit the property. This list continues with increasingly remote relatives. However, if the court finds that there is no eligible person to inherit the property, the state will take it.

Does one require a lawyer to draft a will in Texas?

No. A lawyer is not mandatory to draft a will in the state of Texas. One can do this himself/ herself. However, there are certain circumstances when one may feel the need of a lawyer. For example, if one thinks that the will might be contested or if someone wants to disinherit his/ her spouse, he/ she should talk to an attorney.

What are the requirements to sign a will in Texas?

In order to draft a will in Texas:

  • One must sign the will in front of two witnesses, and
  • The witnesses must sign the will

Does the will need to be notarized?

In the state of Texas, a will is not needed to be notarized in order to make it legal.
However, Texas law allows making a will ‘self-proving’ and to do that, one must visit the notary. A self-proving will speeds up probate as the court can accept the will without contacting the witnesses.

Can a Texas will be used to name an executor?

Yes. A Texas will can be used to name an executor who will make sure the terms of the will are carried out properly. However, if no executor is mentioned in the will, the probate court will appoint someone to wind up your estate.

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