Texas Last Will and Testament Template

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The Texas Last Will and Testament is a legal estate-planning document that reflects the final directives of a testator (person to whom the will belongs) with regard to their estate and how they would like it distributed among beneficiaries upon death. A will provides the testator with the ability to choose who inherits certain portions of their estate– such as real and personal property, fiduciary assets, insurance policies, other financial accounts, and many other assets/property. A testator’s beneficiaries are usually spouses, children, friends, blood relatives, and even charitable organizations. However, the testator can select any individual or entity as a beneficiary of their estate through the will. Under Texas law, will documents require two (2) witnesses to be present at the time of execution and signing; both witnesses will also sign the will to affirm their acknowledgment of the testator’s signature. And though optional, a testator can have the document notarized to add an extra layer of legal protection. Wills may be amended or revoked at any time by the testator, as long as the testator is of sound mind to do so.

Table of Contents

Laws

Definitions – (Sec. 22.034) – “Will” includes a codicil and a testamentary instrument that merely: (a) appoints an executor or guardian; (b) directs how property may not be disposed of; or (c) revokes another will.

Signing Requirements (Sec. 251.051) – Must be attested by the Testator and by Two (2) or more credible Witnesses who are at least 14 years of age and who subscribe their names to the will in their own handwriting in the Testator’s presence.

Statutes Estates Code

(Video) How to Make a Will in Texas

How to Write

Step 1 – Establish a testator of this document by placing their full name at the top of the document, to be followed by:

  • The testator’s name
  • City and County
  • Reviewing the remainder of the paragraph
  • Read “Expenses and Taxes”

Step 2 – Appointment of a selected Executor – Enter:

  • The Name the testator’s chosen executor
  • Name the City and County of the executor
  • Executor’s State of residence

For the protection of the estate and beneficiaries, it would be wise for the testator to select an alternate executor in the event the initial representative is unable to carry out the execution of the estate according to the wishes of the testator. Select an alternate representative and enter:

  • The name of the alternate executor
  • City of residence
  • County of residence
  • Alternate’s State of residence

Step 3 – Disposition of Property – Beneficiaries

Beneficiaries – Enter the following information:

  • Their legal name
  • A physical addresses for named beneficiaries
  • Provide a description of the relationship to the testator
  • Enter the last four digits of the SSN for all persons named beneficiaries
  • Enter a list/descriptions of property that the testator shall provide per beneficiary

Step 4 – Testator should review all titled sections:

  • Omission
  • Bond
  • Discretionary Powers of Personal Representative
  • Contesting Beneficiary
  • Guardian Ad Litem  Not Required
  • Gender
  • Assignment
  • Governing Law
  • Binding Arrangement

Step 5 – Witnesses/Signatures – All who shall serve as a signatory will be present to one another at the time of the signing of the document. All must enter:

  • The name of their testator
  • Date of testator’s signature
  • Testator’s individual signature
  • Testator’s printed name

Witnesses – Witnesses should review the brief statement and enter:

  • Date of the signatures 
  • Name of the testator

Witness 1 – 

  • Signature
  • Physical Address

Witness 2 –

  •  Signature
  • Physical Address

Step 6 – Affidavit of Testament – All signatories must review, then enter:

  • State
  • County
  • Name of testator
  • Name – 1st witness
  • Name – 2nd witness
  • AND
  • Signature of testator
  • Signature – 1st Witness
  • Signature – 2nd Witness

Step 7 (Optional) – Notary- As the testator completes the document, any signature shall be witnessed and acknowledge by a commissioned notary.

Related Forms

 

Advance Directive

Download: Adobe PDF

 

 

 


Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney

Download: Adobe PDF