When a person has collected a significant number of assets, it becomes especially important for them to create a will that specifies which assets go to which beneficiaries when they pass away. However, creating a valid will is a lot more complicated than just writing down on a piece of paper which of your relatives gets your coin collection. If a will does not meet the requirements for will validity in the state of Texas, the courts may disregard it all together.
Each state has its own set of rules and requirements to make a will valid. In Texas, a valid will must be executed by someone with legal capacity:
- At least 18 years of age,
- Currently or previously married, and/or
- Member of the armed forces.
The person creating the will must also have testamentary capacity and intent:
- Testamentary capacity: Sound mind and mental capacity to understand the purpose of a will.
- Testamentary intent: At the time will is signed, has intent to specify how your property will be distributed upon death.
Additionally, the will must be in writing (either handwritten or typed). Holographic and attested wills are both accepted, but have different requirements:
- Holographic: Written in your own handwriting and signed by you (no witnesses required but recommended).
- Attested: Not written in your handwriting (usually typed) and signed by you or someone else on your behalf in front of two competent witnesses (over age 14), who also must sign it.
Ensuring the validity of a will is even more important than creating the wall itself. An attorney specializing in estate planning can make sure that your will meets the necessary criteria to make it valid in the state of Texas.