What A Will Can Do

Uses For A Will

A Will negates many of the problems that may arise from dying without a Will and allows a person to leave the estate to the persons he or she desires. In addition to naming the recipients of the testator's, (a person who leaves a Will in force at his or her death), property, the Will can also designate the individual(s) who will manage the property and care for any minor children. A will can also set up a trust; a trust is a very effective way of managing parts of the estate for the benefit of minor or otherwise incapacitated persons or persons who are unable or incapable of managing their own financial affairs. Further, a trust may be used to protect a person's inheritance from the claims made by creditors because property placed in a trust generally cannot not be reached by a beneficiary's creditors until it is distributed to the beneficiary. Only property owned by the deceased at death can be disposed of by a Will. A Will cannot dispose of "nonprobate assets" -- assets which pass at death other than by Will or intestacy.

Texas Execution Requirments

Texas recognizes three kinds of
wills:

1.handwritten(holographic); and
2. typewritten (formal).

To execute any of these Wills, the testator must meet the following requirements:

1. is at least 18 years of age, is or has been lawfully married, or is serving in the armed forces;
2. be of sound mind at the time of execution;
3. not be unduly or fraudulently
induced (forced or deceived) to make the Will; and
4. have testamentary intent (present intent to bequeath property at death).

Texas law greatly restricts the usage of an oral Will. Therefore, such a Will should not be relied upon for disposing of property. If the bequests in a handwritten Will are not written in clear language, then it is sometimes necessary for the court to decide the meaning of ambiguous terms. Although a handwritten Will is better than an oral Will, the best approach is to have an attorney prepare a
typewritten (or formal) Will.

Revising A Will

Executing a will that stands up in court is only one aspect of the estate planning process. After execution, the original document should be safeguarded so that it is not lost, destroyed, or mutilated, which can result in problems in probate court as to the proof of its contents. John T. Montgomery: Attorney At Law, all executed Wills are stored in a locked fireproof safe for your protection and peace of mind. A Will can also be partially canceled extent if the testator becomes divorced after making the Will. In such an example, gifts to the ex-spouse in the Will, as well as appointments of the ex-spouse as executor or trustee, are void and will not be recognized. If a person signs a Will before marriage and wishes to give all or any portion of his or her property to their new spouse, he or she
should sign a new Will.