Justia Lawyer Rating for Jose Noriega
Superlawyer Badges
AV Preeminent Badge
AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Criminal Defense
AVVO Rating 10.0 - Top Attorney Personal Injury
AVVO Top Contributor - Criminal Defense
AVVO Clients' Choice - Car Accidents
AVVO Top Contributor - Family
AVVO Clients' Choice - Criminal Defense

Conditional Wills


In general, a will is a document that distributes a deceased person’s property to their relatives and loved ones. It is a way for the deceased to carry out their wishes once they are no longer with us. Conditional wills, also called contingent wills, are used when an individual would like a will to become effective only if some event occurs. If the event does not occur, the individual would not want the will to become effective. These wills can be holographic, meaning they are completely handwritten, or they can be formal attested wills, meaning they are signed by the testator, and two witnesses.


Conditional wills are made for many different reasons. For example, conditional wills can be made if an individual is leaving the country on an extended vacation and they wish to have a will, but only if they were to die on their trip. Conditional wills can also be used as an incentive for a testator’s loved ones to conform to the testator’s wishes. Regardless of your reasoning for making a conditional will, it is important to be very clear and very specific in the wording of conditional wills. Some examples of effective conditional will statements are:

Conditional Will Statement 1: “This will is only effective if my son graduates law school. . . .”

Conditional Will Statement 2: “I make the following will to be fulfilled only if I die on my vacation. . . .”

Again, the wording used in conditional wills must be very specific or you might find that your will has become effective, even if the condition you placed in the will did not occur.


Courts tend to shy away from conditional wills. The presumption of conditional will statements is that they are inducements. An inducement is only an explanation for why you are making a will. This means that a will you intended to become effective only after the condition occurs will become effective immediately upon execution. An example of an inducement is:

Inducement: “I am going on a journey, and I may never return, so I make this will in case I die while on my journey. . . . “

This is not a conditional statement. Here, you are only telling people why you think you should have a will. If the will were executed like this, it would become effective immediately.


Drafting a will seems simple enough, but wills and probate is a special area of the law that when the proper procedures are not taken, problems can arise years later. Hiring a professional to draft your will can help prevent problems from occurring in the future. It can prevent confusion after probate, and ensure that your true intentions are carried out.

If you or a loved is thinking about drafting a will, the attorneys at Guest and Gray Law Firm can help. We are located in old downtown Forney across from City Hall. The lawyers of Guest and Gray Law Firm have decades of combined Kaufman County experience. We proudly serve all of Kaufman County, including Forney, Terrell, Kaufman, Crandall, Mesquite, Mabank and Scurry-Rosser.

Client Reviews
Guest and Gray law firm is wonderful. I have had the chance to work with three of the lawyers and they all have been wonderful. They will tell you when you need a lawyer and when you don't. They actually try to save you money. They respond very fast to questions and try to help you understand what is going on. They are caring and are really judgment free. If I needed a lawyer again I would use this firm in a second and recommend them. K.K.
I used Guest and Gray to deal with my ex wife's accusations of child neglect.I dealt with Robert Guest and Tracy Gray. Both were excellent attorneys and surpassed every expectation I had in fighting the false accusations. We Won ! M.B.
I used Guest & Gray for a child custody case and they were great. I was really nervous about the case but they took care of everything and answered all my questions. I would recommend their services to anyone. J.R.
I can highly recommend Guest and Gray. I have worked on a number of cases with Robert Guest and and Scott Gray and find it amazing how MOTIVATED they are to do everything they can for their clients, not to mention that there superior knowledge, etc. In criminal cases supportive relatives always want to know "what can I do" to help. Hire Guest and Gray. C.S.