Handwritten wills, also known as Holographic wills, are considered legal in Texas. Note that a handwritten will needs to be completely written in your handwriting and signed by you to be considered legitimate. You wouldn’t require witnesses for your handwritten will to be acceptable as long as you adhere to the instructions. Nevertheless, if you believe somebody might contest the authenticity of your will, then you need witnesses.
What is a Last Will?
A Last Will and Testament is a legally binding file in which you can name your recipients, appoint a parent or guardian for minors or kids, and note how you want your assets and estate to be divided after you pass away. You can also name an executor to oversee your asset, and pay your bills, expenditures, and taxes.
Each state possesses relevant regulations governing what constitutes a perfectly legitimate Will. In Texas, the individual creating the Will (the testator) ought to have legal capacity, testamentary capacity, as well as testamentary intent for the Will to be considered genuine.
A handwritten will is usually not recommended by inheritance attorneys because they can become hard to establish legitimately in court, and they can possess inaccuracies or ambiguous wishes. If the will falls short of the criteria, the testator’s assets will be distributed in accordance with Texas intestate succession law.
The above law establishes a pecking order of family members who will possess the assets based on who survives the testator. The testator’s husband or wife will be the first to inherit, followed by kids, family members, and so forth. Sadly, this can lead to relatives inheriting possessions that the testator did not plan to allow them to inherit.
While handwriting a will might be appealing, it is not necessarily the most reliable method for transferring assets. For numerous considerations, holographic wills are controversial.
First, the testator is often unaware of the prerequisites for a legitimate holographic will in Texas. The above implies that the court will have to step in to decipher the testator’s desire as well as decide whether or not the testator’s work is legitimate.
Aside from that, holographic Wills allow inheritance recipients and perhaps other relevant individuals to challenge the will (i.e., argue that it is not valid). This can cause long waiting times in estate administration as well as strain the family’s bond.
Definitely, a holographic will is preferable to doing nothing, especially in an urgent situation. A meticulous, extensive, and well-drafted will, on the other hand, is preferable.
Requirements of Texas Handwritten Wills
It’s not really easy to create a holographic will that a judge will accept. There are indeed specific laws for a viable will. In Texas, a holographic will is valid if:
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The Testator wrote it himself
The whole will should be handwritten by the testator. If another individual writes the will and the testator simply signs it, it will become void. Furthermore, any typewritten portion of the will would be ignored. In Texas, only handwriting will meet the prerequisites for holographic wills.
The Testator has signed this document
The testator does not even have to sign his or her full title. As a signature, the testator’s “X” or other defining marks will probably be sufficient.
In Texas, another condition required for a valid Will would be that the testator has legal capacity. In Texas, you have the legal capacity to establish a Will if you:
- Are at least 18 years old
- Have a legal marriage
- Is a member of the United States armed forces
If you possess a “sound mind,” you have testamentary capacity. Texas courts have declared that if you possess the ability to comprehend the following, you have testamentary ability to create a legitimate Will in Texas.
- The fact that you’re writing a Will.
- The outcome of making a Will.
- The size and quality of your real estate.
- The people who are the natural recipients of your treasure chest (e.g. your relatives).
- The realization that you are selling your property.
- How many of these components fit together to establish a coordinated plan for disposing of your assets?
You have testamentary intent if you plan on making a text that specifies how your assets will be divided after you pass away when you sign your Will.
In order for a Will to be legitimate, you must have legal capacity, testamentary capacity, and testamentary intent, as well as follow certain procedural requirements. The requirements that must be implemented are determined by the type of Will you have made. There are two kinds of written Wills in Texas.
- A handwritten Will is a holographic Will. To be legitimate, you should write the Will in your very own writing style and sign it. It is not necessary to have witness statements or a notary sign the document.
- An attested Will is a document that is not entirely in the testator’s handwriting. This is typically a typewritten Will, such as one prepared by a lawyer for you. To be justified, you should sign the Will or have someone else sign it in your presence. Also, at least two independent witnesses over the age of 14 should sign it in your presence.
How to Write a Valid Handwritten Will in Texas
It is recommended you comply with the following steps to create a legally binding handwritten will in Texas:
- Write stating that this is your intention.
- Fill in the blanks with whoever you want to gain your possessions.
- Write down who you would like to be the “independent executor.” The “independent executor” is somebody you appoint to present your will to a grand jury, settle your debts, and distribute your assets. It is possible that they are the same individual who gets your possessions.
- In your letter, specify that you would like your “independent executor” to “end up serving without bond.” To “serve without bond” implies that your “independent executor” will not be required to pay a bond to the court. A bond is typically required by courts to ensure that your asset is not misappropriated or stolen. If you have faith in this individual, utilizing this syntax makes things simpler for them to hand over your possessions.
- Put the date on which you wrote your will.
- Sign the will.
Handwritten wills, also widely recognized as holographic wills, are not considered valid in all states. Because each state has its system of regulations, a will may be legitimate in one location and not in another. In Texas, handwritten wills are not just acceptable, but also equally efficient as typewritten wills.
However, a handwritten will might not be the most dependable method of transferring property at death. Working with a lawyer who can generate a worded will that meets all relevant regulations along with your wishes is preferable.