How to Execute a Will in Texas
For a will to be valid, it must be properly executed. A will that is not properly executed will not be recognized by the probate court. To avoid problems, the safest course is to execute your will under the supervision of your Bryan wills and trusts lawyer.
A properly executed will must be signed by the testator (person making the will) in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must be at least 14 years of age. These requirements are more complicated than they seem. The witnesses must remain in the room at all times during the will's execution. In one case, the probate court refused to recognize a will because the witnesses stepped out at the crucial moment and did not see the testator sign.
The two witnesses should pay close attention during the execution. If anyone later contests the validity of a will, the court may ask the witnesses to testify about what occurred during the signing. Therefore, witnesses should leave cell phones and other distractions outside of the room.
Most College Station wills and trusts lawyers will recommend that you have a self-proved will. A self-proved will can save time and money if the will is not contested. A self-proved will is prima facie evidence that the will was properly executed. This means that if no one contests the will, the witnesses do not have to testify in court when the will is admitted to probate.
To self-prove a will, the testator and the two witnesses must sign an affidavit. The affidavit has to be properly filled out and notarized, which is another reason to execute your will under the watchful eye of your Bryan wills and trusts attorney. A notary public unfamiliar with notarizing affidavits may make errors that will result in your will not being self-proved.
If you need assistance with your estate plan, including drafting and execution of your will, trusts, or other estate planning documents, contact the Bryan TX estate planning attorneys at the Peterson Law Group. Call us at 979-703-7014 to schedule a consultation.