You’ve finally done it. After months of planning and preparation, you have executed your will. But what happens if you need to make a change? Can you simply cross something out and initial it? What if you want to add or delete a beneficiary? The law surrounding wills is complex, and it varies from state to state. In Texas, the answer to these questions is not always clear. In this blog post, we will explore the ins and outs of changing a will in Texas so that you can be sure you are making the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones.
Last will and testament in Texas
If you’re a resident of Texas, you may be wondering if you can change your will after you’ve signed it. The answer is yes, but there are certain conditions that must be met in order for the changes to be valid.
First, all changes to the will must be in writing and signed by the testator (the person who made the will) in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses must also sign the amendment.
Second, the testator must have mental capacity at the time they make the amendment – meaning they must understand what property they own, who their beneficiaries are, and how their will distributes their property.
Third, any changes to the will must not go against public policy. For example, you cannot use your will to disinherit your spouse or child without just cause.
If you meet all of these criteria, then you can make changes to your will in Texas after you sign it. However, it’s always best to consult with an attorney before making any amendments to ensure that everything is done correctly and that your wishes are carried out according to your revised wishes.
Texas will requirements
In Texas, a will must be in writing, signed by the testator (person making the will), and witnessed by two adult witnesses. A will must also be properly executed in order to be valid.
If you want to change your will after you have already signed it, you can do so by executing a codicil. A codicil is a document that modifies, amends, or revokes an existing will. In order to be valid, a codicil must be executed with the same formalities as required for a will.
If you want to revoke your will entirely, you can do so by physically destroying the will or by executing a new will that revokes all previous wills.
Changing a will
If you have a will in Texas, you can change it at any time, as long as you are of sound mind. You can either revoke the old will or create a new one.
If you want to revoke your old will, you can do so by physically destroying it or by creating a new will that specifically revokes the old one. You must be sure that there are no copies of the old will floating around, as those could still be used to probate your estate.
If you want to create a new will, it must be in writing and signed by you in front of two witnesses. The witnesses cannot be people who stand to inherit anything from your estate. Once the new will is created, be sure to destroy any copies of the old one.
Valid will in Texas
In Texas, a will is only valid if it is in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will), and witnesses. The witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator and each other. A handwritten will, also called a holographic will, is valid in Texas if it is entirely in the handwriting of the testator and signed by the testator. Even if a will is not witnessed or notarized, it can still be probated in Texas if the court finds that it was properly signed by the testator.
Texas Case Law
Mahan v. Dovers, 730 S.W.2d 467 469 (Tex. App. — Fort Worth 1987, no writ)
Facts and Procedural History
Before Leon Mahan passed away, he prepared a will which he signed at the bottom of each page, signed on the signatory page, had three witnesses sign, and had a public notary sign. Catherine Mahan presented a seven page type written and stapled will for probate that she purported to be the same will. Delane Dovers, Leon’s niece, claimed that the document presented was not the same will and that the document had been changed without the requisite formalities. The trial court denied the will holding that there had been changes made from the time the original will was executed and that there was no way of knowing if the will had been properly executed.
Catherine appealed and therefore had the burden of proving the will was valid. In her points of error she. Argues that the will she offered is the will of Leon, that it is a validly executed will, and that the will was never changed. The court agreed that there was a validly executed will, the real question was whether or not it was the will being offered. The record showed that Leon often revised his will by tearing out and retyping pages that he wanted to change. The appellee testified that the original will named another niece, Essie Bell Thomason, as the executrix of his will. Both Essie and her husband testified that that was true. The will being presented, however, named Catherine as executrix of his will. Both parties testified that Leon had asked another niece, Jo Ann Dillingham, to make that change, along with many others, to his will. The records show that those changes were also prepared. Dillingham testified that Leon never signed the changes to the will. Expert examiners also concluded that all of the signatures were signed at the same time.
The court found through the above evidence, it was inconclusive as to whether the changes to the will were done with the requisite formalities and therefore the probate was denied.
Can a testator make changes to a will after it has been executed without using the requisite formalities?
No. The testator must use the requisite formalities for every change made to his will.
Mahan v. Dovers shows that the testator must use the requisite formalities for executing a will every time he makes a change to it.
In Texas, you can change your will after you sign it, but there are certain rules and regulations that you must follow. To make a valid change to your will, you must do so in writing and have two witnesses present who can attest to the fact that you are of sound mind and body and understand what you are doing. You should also keep your original will in a safe place where it can be easily accessed by your loved ones after you pass away. Making changes to your will is not a decision to be taken lightly, but if done correctly, it can give you peace of mind knowing that your final wishes will be carried out.
Do you need an Experienced Probate Attorney to help?
If you’re considering making changes to your will, it’s important to understand the legal process and know whether or not you need an attorney. In Texas, a will must be in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will), and witnessed by two people who are competent.
Once a will is signed, it cannot be changed unless the testator revokes it or makes amendments to it. Amendments must also be in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by two people who are competent. If you try to make changes to your will without following these legal requirements, your changes will not be valid.
If you need help understanding the probate process or changing your will, contact an experienced probate attorney in Texas. Cal us for a FREE consultation. (469) 895-4333.
Are handwritten changes to a will legal in Texas?
In Texas, a will must be in writing and signed by the testator (the person who made the will) in order for it to be valid. However, there are some circumstances in which handwritten changes, or “codicils,” to a will may be considered legal.
If the codicil is dated and signed by the testator, it is presumed to have been made after the execution of the will and is therefore valid. If the codicil is not dated or signed by the testator, it is presumed to have been made before the execution of the will and is therefore invalid.
In order for a codicil to be valid, it must meet all of the requirements of a valid will. For example, it must be in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by two disinterested witnesses. A codicil that does not meet these requirements is void and has no effect on the validity of the will.
Can I change my will at any time?
Yes, you can. However, it is best to consult with an attorney before making any changes, as there are certain legal requirements that must be met in order for the changes to be valid. If you make changes without consulting an attorney, there is a risk that the changes will not be valid, and your original will could be used instead.
What is the procedure for changing a will?
If you want to make changes to your will after you’ve signed it, you can do so by creating a codicil. A codicil is a legal document that modifies an existing will. To create a codicil, you’ll need to prepare a new document that states the changes you want to make and date and sign it in front of witnesses. Once the codicil is signed, it becomes part of your will and must be followed just as if the changes had been made when the original will was created.
What voids a will in Texas?
In Texas, a will is void if:
1. it was not executed and signed by the testator in the presence of two or more competent witnesses;
2. it was revoked;
3. it was superseded by a later will; or
4. it fails to meet the requirements for a valid holographic will under Texas law.
A will may also be found invalid if it was procured by fraud, duress, or undue influence. If any part of the will is held to be invalid, the entire document may be declared void.
How to make a will in Texas?
If you want to make changes to your will after you’ve already signed it, you can do so by creating a codicil. A codicil is a legal document that makes amendments to an existing will. In order for the codicil to be valid, it must be signed and dated by the testator (the person who created the will) in the presence of two witnesses.
The codicil must also be attached to the original will. Once the codicil is executed, it becomes a part of the will and must be treated as such. This means that if the original will is ever lost or destroyed, the codicil must be found in order for the changes to be valid.
It’s important to note that not all changes can be made through a codicil. For example, you cannot use a codicil to completely revoke your will – if that’s what you want to do, you’ll need to create a new will that specifically states that it revokes all previous wills and codicils. You also can’t use a codicil to name a new executor – this can only be done through a new will.
If you have any questions about whether or not a change you want to make can be done through a codicil, it’s best to speak with an experienced estate planning attorney.