State laws govern the legal requirements necessary for drafting valid wills. In Texas, residents can draft three types of wills, and each type has its own set of legal requirements. Generally, as a Texan, you can create an oral will, a typewritten will or a holographic or handwritten will. Although each type is different, you must meet the general legal requirements to create a valid will pursuant to the Texas Probate Code.
To create a will in Texas, you must be at least 18 years old or be legally emancipated by court order, marriage or service in the military. Furthermore, you must be legally competent and of sound mind when you create your will. This means that you are capable of mentally drafting a will and bequeathing your assets to your beneficiaries.
Most Texans create typewritten and formal wills with the assistance of probate attorneys licensed to practice law in Texas. If you create a typewritten will, you need to have two witnesses sign your will in front of you, and you must sign your will in front of your witnesses. Your witnesses must be at least 14 years old and competent or legally able to serve as your witnesses. Generally, Texas law prohibits you from selecting a beneficiary to serve as your witness because your beneficiary is a partial witness. You should select two witnesses who are impartial and will not receive any property under your will. Note that in many other states, witnesses must also be 18 years old to serve in this important function.
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