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What kinds of last wills and testaments does Texas recognize?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Estate Planning |

Having a last will and testament allows a testator to leave their property to their desired beneficiaries after their passing. Additionally, a testator can create a trust and name people to manage their property and take care of their minor children.

A testator must be aged 18 and above, formerly or currently lawfully married or is serving in the military. They must also be of sound mind, have testamentary intent and should have made their will without undue force. If you are planning to create a will in Texas, there are three kinds of wills that the state accepts with several limitations.

Typewritten will

A typewritten or formal will is the most common kind of will. The testator must sign it and two credible witnesses must attest to it. The witnesses, who must be above 14 years old, should sign the will in the testator’s presence and should not be beneficiaries. Meanwhile, another individual assigned by the testator can sign the will in the testator’s presence.

Handwritten will

The second kind of will is the handwritten or holographic will. The testator should write their whole will by hand on any type of paper and then sign it. In addition, this kind of will does not require witnesses to attest to it.

Oral will

The third kind of will is the oral will, which has many limitations. First, it is only valid if the decedent declared it in their last illness at home. They could have also declared it before returning home if they died of sickness after leaving their home.

In addition, an oral will only applies to distributing personal property because transfers of title to real property should be in writing. Moreover, there must be at least three witnesses to an oral will if the value of the personal property is above $30.

Formalizing your post-death wishes

The end of life’s journey is unknown, but you can still prepare for the unexpected by creating a will. Doing this can formalize your post death wishes so that your beneficiaries may continue to receive your care and support even after your demise.


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