What is a Will and What Does It Do?

A Will is a document that directs how matters and assets will be handled and administered after your death. A Will is a very important part of an effective estate plan and should be prepared by an experienced attorney, thereby allowing you to:

  • Select the person or entity (executor) responsible for carrying out the wishes you set forth in your Will;
  • Make specific bequests or gifts of tangible property. If not specifically directed in your Will, your property may not be distributed as you would have wished;
  • Direct the payment of taxes and debts; and
  • Control the distribution of the remainder of your other property not specifically mentioned in your Will.

A court will only consider a document to be a valid Will, if, looking only at the document itself, the court finds that it is intended to dispose of a person’s property, real and personal and if it meets other procedural and statutory requirements. Additionally, the person creating the Will, the testator must have been of "sound mind" upon the execution of the Will. While state laws vary on specific requirements of a Will, any person of sound mind may make a Will, if he or she:

  • Is of legal age to make a Will (which is18 years or older old in Texas), is lawfully married, or is a member of the armed services;
  • Understands that, by signing the Will, he or she is providing for final disposition of his or her property; and who also
  • Understands the “nature of his or her bounty.” In other words, one must understand what property he or she actually has to leave to someone else.

Generally, in Texas, a letter merely stating one’s desires or setting forth a list of property is not considered a valid Will. While state laws vary, with the exception of a holographic (handwritten) Will, a Will must be witnessed by two individuals in order to be valid in Texas. To avoid requiring one or both of those witnesses appear in court when the Will is eventually probated and testify as to the circumstances surrounding the Will’s execution, it is also necessary to include a self-proving affidavit. The way the Will is executed and witnessed can make a difference as to whether it will be valid when it is time to probate the Will. The attorneys at Garg & Associates are experienced in writing Wills and overseeing the execution ceremonies.

We invite you to contact us for a consultation. Call Garg & Associates, PC at 281-362-2865 or complete our contact form.

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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.