What is a Last Will and Testament


A Texas Last Will and Testament, when prepared and executed properly by a person who is an adult of sound mind with legal responsibility for his- or herself, is a formal document that specifies how their assets or estate will be managed and distributed after their death. The person who dies is formally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent has minor children, the Last Will and Testament may also be used to designate who they want to care for their children and who they wish to handle their childrenís inheritance/finances until each child comes of age (usually 18, but you can designate a different age) to handle their finances on their own.

In a Last Will and Testament, the decedent usually also names a personal representativeóor co-personal representatives (two or more persons acting together in this capacity)óto manage the matters of the estate. The personal representative is the person who gathers all of the information about the decedentís debts and assets, pays outstanding debts using the assets on behalf of the estate, and ensures that the decedentís property is distributed as specified in the Will, so this is a job with a lot of responsibility, and the personal representative selected is usually someone the decedent really trusts to follow through on the details and with his or her wishes.

If a person dies without having a valid Last Will and Testament (which usuallyóin most statesómeans it must be properly witnessed, as wellónot just signed), someone will usually be appointed by the court to be the personal representative and will pay the decedentís debts, liquidizing assets as necessary to do so. Then the remaining assets will be distributed among the decedentís heirs according to the laws of the state the decedent lived in.

In some states, if one spouse dies leaving behind a husband or wife, that living spouse will inherit all of the decedentís property in the absence of a Last Will and Testament stating to the contrary. In other cases, the decedent may have specified a particular beneficiary to inherit a life insurance policy, retirement account, or other asset, and that beneficiary designation will dictate who receives those assets in the absence of a Texas Last Will and Testament.

The important thing to note is that anyone who wishes to designate how their assets will be distributed after their death should prepare and properly execute a Last Will and Testament to ensure their wishes are known and honored. If they donít, they may be leaving it up to chance, the laws of the state in which they reside at the time of their death, or a court of law as to how their final affairs will be settled.  Texas free information on last will and testament forms.

Texas Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testaments are important documents required when someone wants to legally transfer ownership of the trustee after the testatorís death.

It happens that those papers are often confused with a Living Will form, which is used when someone wants to describe a medical treatment option they would prefer. For the future point, they wonít be able to decide. And the Last Wills are about funds and resources, as was stated above.

When the Last Will and Testament are made?

In the state of Texas, Last Will and Testament are not required by law, but itís highly recommended to arrange. Regarding your wishes, all of the properties will belong to the one or ones you want, and those documents make it possible to manage the process correctly and legitimately after you pass away.

Testators from Texas have an opportunity to get an executor of their choice, who will be in charge of making sure that all your preferences for the transfer of personal property are respected in accordance with the established document.

Itís also convenient that testators can independently choose a legal guardian for children under the age of 18 and create a trust through which the property or part of it can belong for the benefit of another. In addition to testamentary trusts, Texas residents can create a ďpet trustĒ to choose who will take care of them after the ownerís death.

When you canít inherit properties

In Texas, the property is a separate asset acquired before or during the marriage. And if the testator tries to give up the entire amount of the general property in their Will, the living spouse can either argue and claim the half to which he/she is entitled or accept what is specified in the Last Will.

What if thereís no Last Will or Testament?

In the state of Texas, having a Will can make the process of obtaining an inheritance much easier. Since a will is a court-controlled document, the court plays the role of "independent administration,Ē which, with the consent of all donees, allows executors to ask the court to act as independent executors and to conclude on the estate with little supervision.

The Last Will in Texas must be proven within four years after the death of the testator. Otherwise, it won't reach the probate and fulfill the requirements of the laws of intestacy. After the Will has been proven in court, all outstanding debts and inheritance taxes are getting paid, and then the estate of the testator is distributed in accordance with the provisions mentioned in a Will.

If a person died without having time to make a will, then it is extremely difficult to track the correct distribution of his inheritance. In fact, there are many rules for distributing intestate property. But basically, property or part of it is transferred to spouses, children, and other family members by the degree of kinship, or becomes the property of the Texas state, if none has been identified.

Last Will and Testament in Texas

To create such a document, the testators should match those conditions:

  • To be 18 years of age or older, sane, and clear-headed

  • Sign the document themself or by an authorized person in the testatorís presence, according to clear instructions

  • At least two other individuals of 14 years or older need to sign the Last Will at the same time, also in the testatorís presence

  • A Last Will should be fully written by hand or holographic

  • The testator can choose the beneficiaries themself and name at least one of them

Texas probate courts accept Last Wills and Testaments in a holographic or handwritten form, provided that it has the testatorís signature and the actual handwriting.

Last Will cancellation

The Last Will in Texas may be changed at any time by the relevant addendum and revoked by its physical breakdown, official recall paper, or by another will.

Use our comprehensive website template to draw up a complete Last Will and Testament.



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