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Does A Will Have To Be Notarized In Texas

How To Notarize Will In Texas

A Will doesn’t have to be notarized in Texas to be valid but requirements differ depending on whether it is a holographic will or an attested will. You can make your Will “self-proving” to speed up probate because it allows the court to accept the Will without contacting the witnesses who signed it. The process of “self-proving” a Will involves you and your two witnesses going to a notary and signing an affidavit that states who you are and that you and the witnesses knew you were signing the Will.

Holographic Will

A holographic Will is a Will written completely in the testator’s (person making the will) own handwriting and is signed by the testator. A holographic will does not have to be signed by two witnesses for it to be valid in Texas. You can write a holographic will on anything or any material not just stationery. In fact there have been cases where people have written their wills on walls or even floors. As long as the holographic will is in the handwriting of the testator and is signed by the testator then it is valid in Texas.

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A Formal Attested Will

Does A Will Have To Be Notarized In TexasAn attested is a Will that is a typed Will that is signed by the testator and two witnesses that are not named in the Will. Usually, an attested will is typed and prepared by an experienced attorney. The two witnesses must be at least 14 years old and have to sign their names to the will in their own handwriting in the presence of the testator. But the two witnesses do not have to sign the Will in the presence of each other. You can only attach a self-proving affidavit to an attested will.

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Naming An Executor In Your Will

You need to name an executor who will ensure that the provisions of your Will are carried out exactly how you want after your death. The probate court usually gives the executor authority to act as the testator’s legal representative administering the estate. This is why you need to find someone that you consider highly trustworthy and with good judgment such as a friend or relative capable of handling financial matters. Some of the duties of an executor include:

  • Filing a copy of the Will with the local probate court
  • Use funds from the estate to pay funeral and burial expenses
  • Locate assets of the estate, manage those assets and distribute the assets of the estate
  • Pay the debts if the estates before disbursing gifts to beneficiaries
  • Care for the assets of the estate until they can be distributed

People that have been convicted for a felony, are incapacitated, or are not residents of Texas are not qualified to serve as an executor or administrator. The probate court will appoint an executor to wind up your estate if you do not appoint one in your Will. Consult an experienced estate planning lawyer to advise you on how to make a legal Will.

You may also be interested in…

  1. Can You Contest A Will In Texas?
  2. Spendthrift Trust In Texas
  3. Testamentary Trust In Texas

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