Basic requisites for a valid will in Texas
The first step in evaluating the validity of a will is determining if it meets the requirements of Section 59 of the Texas Probate Code. For a typewritten will, the requirements, in summary form, are:
- Signed by the testator (the person making the will). It can also be signed in the testator's presence by someone else at the testator's direction;
- Be attested to (witnessed) by at least two witnesses over the age of fourteen. These witnesses must sign in the presence of the testator. This requirement does not apply if the will is entirely in the handwriting of the testator (a holographic will).
Those are the basics. A written will that doesn't meet those requirements is invalid. That is not to say that a will that meets those requirements is necessary valid. There are other requirements, most notable capacity and testamentary intent of the testator, which I will cover in later posts.