A will is a legal document that designates persons to receive the properties of the estate. It also contains the desires of the decedent concerning the disposal of his or her estate. The testator is the person who the will is made for. An executor of a will is someone appointed to execute the will after death. Executors can be appointed in the will, or appointed by the court if one is not appointed. Certain individuals are disqualified.
The court determines the validity of the will. However, at the time of the will’s execution, the testator must be of age, possess a sound mind, and must intend the document act as a testamentary instrument.
In addition to the above requirements, a will must also be signed by two witnesses at the time of its execution. This requirement can be waived by writing a holographic will. A holographic will is a will written completely in the testator’s handwriting, and signed by testator.
After a testator’s death, a will has to go through a probate court proceeding. The executor of the will must initiate the probate proceeding within 4 years of death of testator. If this isn’t done in time, then intestacy laws apply (explained more below.)
The executor can be appointed in the will or by court. Certain people are prohibited from being an executor. The following individuals cannot serve as an executor in Texas:
Once a will is created it can be canceled once revoked by the testator. Revocation of the will occurs by the creation of a subsequent will that contradicts or expressly states the old will is revoked or by a physical act of the testator such as destroying the will. The will can also be marked out but the markings created by the testator must touch a substantial part of the will.
Just because the will has been revoked does not mean it cannot be revived. Revival of the will is never automatic but can be done by re-execution, republication, or if the court determines the revocation was based on mistake of law or fact the revocation can be canceled if the testator would not have revoked the will if he knew the truth.
Writing a will is important and without one, the court will distribute your estate following the rules of intestate succession. Intestate succession can cause issues within the family because of the constant fighting of certain properties of the estate. Having a will eliminates those issues and each person in the will receives their intended share.
If you need a will and looking for a good wills and trust attorney in Spring, TX, North Houston, Woodlands, Klein, Tomball, Cypress, FM 1960, Galveston, and surrounding areas, call the A.T. Law Firm for a free consultation. We also travel to different counties including but not limited to Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Ford Bend County, Waller County, and Brazoria County. In addition to English, we speak Spanish, Farsi (Persian), and Kurdish.
Divorce is rarely easy, with issues regarding your children to dividing up assets, it can be a difficult and very distressing time for all involved.