Is a Handwritten Will Valid in Texas?
Handwritten wills might be considered valid in Texas if they meet the requirements under the Texas Probate Code. Any variation from the requirements listed below will probably result in a handwritten last will and testament being considered void or invalid:
- A handwritten will must be wholly written in the handwriting of the testator, which is the legal name for the person making the will
- No typewritten text on the face of a handwritten last will and testament will be considered part of the will
- The language in the handwritten will must reflect the testator's intent to dispose of property at death. In other words, there can be no question whether the handwritten will is actually a will or simply a writing the testator made for some other reason
Handwritten wills are frequently challenged
A handwritten will can be written on anything, as long as it meets the requirements above. That is not to say a handwritten will is not subject to challenge — even formally drafted wills can be challenged by unsatisfied creditors or heirs. Handwritten wills, however, can be particularly challenging to interpret. When a portion of a will is ambiguous or subject to more than one reasonable interpretation, the property referenced may remain with the estate for distribution according to Texas's laws of intestate succession. The safest to make sure your wishes are carried out after death is to consult with an experienced Texas estate planning attorney to draft and execute a formal will. At Peterson Law Group, we take the time to discuss your circumstances in detail and answer all your questions. Make an appointment with an experienced Bryan, Texas estate planning lawyer at the Peterson Law Group by calling 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681 today or visit us online to request a meeting.