Texas Wills Law

You work hard to earn your property and assets, so it makes sense to outline precisely how you want your estate to be distributed when you die. A last will and testament can provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.

What Is Wills Law In Texas?

A Last Will and Testament Texas is a legal document that outlines your preferences about who will receive ownership of your personal property and assets when you die (this person is known as the testator). Recipients who acquire property in a will are known as beneficiaries, and often include the testator's partner, children, or grandchildren. A will may also have important information about arrangements for guardianship or conservatorship.

Examples of property and assets commonly included in a will and transferred on death include the following:

  • Land and real estate;
  • Financial assets;
  • Business assets and investments; and
  • Personal possessions.

There are types of property that cannot be included in Texas law wills and trusts, such as:

  • Retirement plan proceeds, including government pensions or IRA;
  • Property in a living trust;
  • Life insurance proceeds that have an assigned beneficiary; 
  • Stocks and bonds held in beneficiaries; and
  • Other policies such as mortgage insurance.

Seeking the advice of a professional with financial expertise can help you make the best decisions about your financial assets.

Texas wills law, also known as estate or probate law, can be complicated, so it is essential to understand the the legal process involved. 

Why You Should Have A Will In Texas

Without a valid will, Texas lawwill determine who will get your property and possessions when you die. Having a will gives you control over the inheritance and distribution of your property and estate. If you have children under the age of 18, a will is even more important, as it allows you to decide who will be legally responsible for their care in the event of your death.

How Does A Will Work In Texas?

When a will is created in Texas,an executor or representative is typically appointed to handle all of the administrative duties required in the distribution of the estate after your death. The first step in the legal process is for the executor to file the will and paperwork, such as the death certificate, in the appropriate legal jurisdiction. Once the executor has officially been appointed and approved, they will be responsible for the probate process.

How To Get Started On Your Will In Texas

To get started on preparing your will, do some research on Texas laws regarding wills and trusts so that you understand the requirements.

Here are five things to consider when preparing your will:

  1. Decide what property and assets will be included in your will;
  2. Decide who the beneficiaries will be;
  3. Discuss guardianship of any children and come to an agreement on who will be legally responsible for them after your death;
  4. Choose an executor or representative to handle your estate; and
  5. Consider any scenarios that you want to make provisions for.
  6. Use this sample last will testament to fill out all the required details mentioned above and get your drafted document in minutes. Everything is up-to-date with the current Texas state law.

How To Prepare And Validate Your Will In Texas

Anyone over 18 can legally draft a will and last testament. You do not need to hire an attorney to prepare your will, asthere are many templates available online to help you. Check out the Last Will and Testament Template on the Lawrina website as an example. However, if your estate is large and complicated, you should seek the assistance of an estate or probate lawyer.

For a will to be legally valid, it must meet the following criteria:

  • The testator must make a statement to confirm that the document is a will and last testament;
  • All previous wills must be revoked or rescinded;
  • The testator must be able to demonstrate that they are of sound mind and understand the purpose of the document;
  • The will must contain the date of creation and signature of the testator; and
  • The signature must be completed in the presence of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will .

Changing A Will In Texas

It is essential to keep your last will and testament updated. Life circumstances can change, and your will should reflect that.

The following are some examples of situations where updating your will may be advised:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Birth of a child
  • New stepchildren
  • Newly acquired or sold assets
  • A change in mind about the beneficiaries in your will
  • The decision to disinherit a family member

You can change your will by revoking the previous one and making a new one. If your change is small and straightforward, you can add a codicil that acts as an amendment or addition to your original will. Contact an attorney specializing in wills law in Texas for advice on changing or updating your will.

Final Remarks

No one likes to spend time contemplating what will happen in the event of their death. However, planning and preparing will is essential. A last will and testament gives you control over how your estate is distributed and can help prevent costly and stressful family disputes. Contact a Texas wills law attorney today to assist you in planning for your and your family's future, or have a look at the Last Will and Testament template on the Lawrina website.

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