Thursday, March 6, 2014

How Should I Sign My (Texas) Will?

You must sign and date your Will.  

The Will should also be signed by at least two disinterested witnesses who are at least 14 years old.  A disinterested witness is someone who is not named as an executor, trustee, or beneficiary in your Will.  You should also try to avoid using any family members who might inherit from you under the laws of intestacy as a witness to your Will. 

Under best practices, you should sign the Will in the witnesses’ presence, and tell each disinterested person that the document they are signing is your last Will and you want them to witness your Will.  

Each witness must sign the Will in your presence.  Although it is not necessary for the witnesses to sign the Will in each other’s presence, it is better to have both witnesses sign the Will at the same time and in each other’s presence, too.  

The witnesses should print their names underneath their signatures and provide an address at which they may be contacted in the event that their testimony is needed at a later date. 

In addition to simply signing your Will, you should consider adding a “self-proving affidavit” to your Will.  (See separate blog entry re: self-proving affidavits). 

It is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney prior to signing any legal document, including your Last Will and Testament; this will help ensure that the document meets current statutory requirements and that you understand the significance and consequences of each provision and term contained in the document. 

By:      Cynthia W. Veidt