Three lead attorneys at Livens & Reed, PLLC

Medicaid And Estate Planning Attorneys
Helping You Achieve
Peace Of Mind

Medicaid And Estate Planning Attorneys
Helping You Achieve
Peace Of Mind
Three lead attorneys at Livens & Reed, PLLC
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Estate Planning
  4.  » What are the basic requirements of a will in Texas?

What are the basic requirements of a will in Texas?

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Estate plans can include a variety of documents that help achieve a multitude of different personal goals. People use trusts to control how beneficiaries use their inheritance or to provide support for a loved one with special needs after they die.

They may add living documents, including powers of attorney, to their estate plans. Such documents can help someone receive proper support if they have some kind of incapacitating emergency or a medical condition that leaves them unable to act on their own behalf.

However, for many people, an estate plan might consist of nothing more than a will. Wills can provide clear instructions about the protection of dependent family members and the distribution of someone’s property. In order to achieve those goals, a will has to meet the standards established in Texas probate statutes. What does Texas require for a will to be valid and enforceable?

An adult testator of sound mind

The most basic requirement of any will is an adult who wants to provide instructions to others. Typically, people need to be 18 years of age to draft a will in Texas, although emancipated minors may also have the legal authority necessary to create testamentary documents. Additionally, the testator needs to have the necessary testamentary capacity. They need to understand what the documents may do, know the property that they own and remember the beneficiaries they include in their paperwork.

A written document

There are many ways for people to communicate their ideas and wishes to others, including making an audio or video recording. Despite advances in technology, Texas generally only recognizes written wills. A will can be handwritten or a typed document. Recordings typically cannot serve as testamentary instruments in Texas.

Witness signatures

The final main requirement of a valid will in Texas is the acknowledgment of at least two witnesses. Those witnesses typically need to be at least 14 years old. Additionally, their future testimony may be more effective if they do not have an interest in the state. Texas does not require the notarization of a will for it to be a valid testamentary document.

Learning about what Texas requires for a will to be enforceable can make it easier for testators to ensure that their testamentary documents conform to state standards. Valid and enforceable documents can help give people control over the legacy that they leave when they die.

Archives

Livens & Reed, PLLC