Incorporation by Reference

One potential problem with testaments is the difficulty posed when the creator of the will or trust wants to introduce an outside document or idea. By the end of a person’s life, property holdings can become a complex mixture of real estate, money, various investments, and small property. With such diversity, the creator of the testament may need to connect previously-made agreements or documents to his or her testament.

If you are drafting a will or trust, you need the help of a legal professional. Contact the Houston wills and trusts lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., today at 281-362-2865.

Standards for Document Incorporation

Using a common law principle known as incorporation by reference, a testator may link his or her testament to other important contracts or documents in a legally acceptable manner. However, there are certain standards that must be met before this principle can be put in place. These include the following:

  • The testament must make identifiable reference to the incorporated document
  • The testament must clearly show intent to incorporate the other document
  • The document must precede the testament

On the final point, there is some contention. While, in most cases, the document in question has to be produced prior to the signing of the will, this is not always true. With personal property, the testator may generally draft the referenced document later, so long as the other parts of the incorporation are valid.

Contact Us

Depending on the intention of the testator and the amount of property involved, the process of dividing property through an estate plan can be complicated. Even with small estates and less property, challenges and legal details may uproot a testator’s original intentions. For the legal guidance you need while drafting your testament, contact the Houston wills and trusts attorneys of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865 today.

firm info  |  practice areas  |  articles  |  faqs  |  blog  |  contact us  |  Site Map  |  resources  |   Find us on Google+   |   Log in

Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
Serving The Woodlands, Spring, Houston, Conroe, Kingwood, Tomball, Cypress, Huntsville, Cleveland, Stafford, Montgomery County, Harris County, West Oaks, Memorial, Sugar
Land, River Oaks, Alief, Stafford, Missouri City, and Southwest Houston Texas.