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When taking time to prepare a will, make sure it is valid

Having a will in place is something that one can do to make sure that his or her assets and loved ones are protected in the event of his or her death. Taking the time to prepare a will means a little more than just jotting something down on paper really quick and signing one's name to it. This is not to say that a will has to be a long-winded document; it can be brief if that is what one wants. It does, however, need to meet certain requirements in order for it to be valid in the state of Texas.

How a will is executed is going to matter when it comes time to administration of one's estate. If there are questions about a will's validity, it could hold up the process and extend the amount of time one's surviving family members have to work toward closing the estate. No one really wants to go through that if it can be avoided.

To make sure a will is valid there are certain general requirements that must be met when creating the document. If even just one of these or other state specific requirements are not met, one's will won't be considered legally binding. The general requirements include that the person for whom the will is written:

  • Be of legal age
  • Be of sound mind
  • Intended to create a will
  • Created the will voluntarily
  • Made proper arrangements to distribute property
  • Signed the will in front of at least two witnesses

Taking the time to prepare a will is a great step toward making sure one's estate is passed on in accordance with his or her wishes. However, if a will is not valid that may not happen as intended. An experienced estate planning attorney can assist Texas residents in creating wills that meet the necessary validity requirements so that their wishes for their estates are known and honored.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is a 'Valid Will'?", Accessed on May 9, 2017

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