Basic will requirements

30 April 2008

Testamentary Capacity

In Texas, a person cannot dispose of their property through a will unless they are of “sound mind” at the time they execute the will.  “Sound mind” is often referred to as “testamentary capacity” in the context of a will. How is testamentary capacity defined? In Texas, it generally means sufficient mental ability, at the time of the will execution, to: a) understand the business in which the testator is engaged; b) the effect of the act in making a will; c) the general nature and extent of her property; d) know who is her next of kin; e) sufficient […]
21 March 2008

Holographic wills

A holographic will is a handwritten will.  In Texas, such a will is valid if: 1) It is wholly in the handwriting of the testator 2) It is signed by the testator If those requirements are met, the will need not be attested by two witnesses. However, the requirements of testamentary intent and capacity still apply. Texas Probate Code, Section 60. North Texas Probate and Business Litigation Attorneys
18 March 2008

Testamentary intent required for a valid will

The testator must execute a will with testamentary intent.  Testamentary intent is the testator’s intention to create a revocable disposition of property effective at death.  Texas courts don’t require a testator to use any magic words.  Nor does the testator even need to realize he is making a will.  However, it must be evident from the will that the testator is intending to direct the disposition of his property upon his death. It must be evident that the document was intended by the testator to be the very document disposing of his property.  A document that merely instructs an attorney […]
18 March 2008

Basic requisites for a valid will in Texas

The first step in evaluating the validity of a will is determining if it meets the requirements of Section 59 of the Texas Probate Code.  For a typewritten will, the requirements, in summary form, are: Signed by the testator (the person making the will). It can also be signed in the testator’s presence by someone else at the testator’s direction; Be attested to (witnessed) by at least two witnesses over the age of fourteen.  These witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator.  This requirement does not apply if the will is entirely in the handwriting of the testator […]
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