This Texas estate planning and administration law blog has offered its readers many posts about the benefits of timely estate planning. However, an estate plan is only as good as the documents and tools that are included in it. If a testamentary document is not valid, it can jeopardize the carefully laid strategy an individual tried to accomplish through their estate plan.
This informational post will discuss some of the requirements that Texas law mandates for one of the most common types of estate planning documents: the will. Readers are reminded that this blog does not provide any legal advice. However, individuals who have questions about estate planning may contact their trusted estate planning and administration lawyers at their convenience.
Age and capacity
One requirement that Texas recognizes for wills is age. An individual must be at least 18 years of age to draft a valid will. There are exceptions to this rule, however, and some members of the Armed Services as well as minors who are married may be eligible to draft wills given their circumstances.
In addition to attaining the age of maturity, individuals who draft and execute wills must also be of sound mind. This means that they have testamentary capacity, or the ability to understand what their will accomplishes and what will happen per the terms of their wills when they die. Without testamentary capacity, an executed will may be deemed invalid.
Other requirements that Texas imposes on the drafting and execution of wills include the requirement that a will be written. There are, though, exceptions to this rule when a person can speak their testamentary intentions under specific circumstances. Additionally, written wills generally must be attested to by two witnesses, though if an individual writes their will out by hand the witness requirement may not be necessary.
As readers can see, there are many rules and exceptions to what constitutes a valid will in Texas. This post is informational and should not be read as advice. Help with the will drafting and execution process can be sought from trusted estate planning attorneys in Texas.