Oral Wills

FORMER TEXAS LAW

After September 1, 2007, oral wills, also called nuncupative wills, are no longer recognized under Texas law. In other words, oral wills are not valid. Under the previous law, you could only make an oral will under three circumstances:

  1. The oral will could be made in the testator’s last sickness, meaning they must be on their deathbed.
  2. The testator could only give away personal property not worth more than $30. This meant that real property, or real estate could not be given away through an oral will.
  3. The oral will could only be spoken where the testator lived, or somewhere the testator had stayed for at least 10 days before speaking the will. The will would have also been valid if the testator died on his way home from a location.

Today, to dispose of your property through a will, it would need to be in a will document.

WHAT IS A WRITTEN WILL?

A will is a document that distributes a deceased person’s property to their relatives and loved ones. An individual that has made a will or is in the process of making a will is called a “Testator.” There are several different types of wills as well as different forms of wills in Texas. Determining what will is best for an individual depends on the testator’s intent, the nature of the testator’s estate, as well as many other factors.

GENERAL WILL REQUIREMENTS

There are three general requirements that need to be met to make a valid will in Texas. You must be at least 18 years old to make a will; you must be of sound mind at the time you make the will; and you must intend that the document you are drafting be your will. Any will that is drafted in Texas must meet these requirements. However, there are several exceptions to these requirements. If you are currently married or have ever been married, you are free to make a will regardless of your age. Also, if you are currently serving in the armed forces, the age requirement does not apply. It is also important to also keep in mind that there are separate requirements for the different types of wills in addition to the general requirements. It is beneficial to consult an attorney to ensure you have met these requirements.

HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

Hiring a professional to advise you on the best options for your estate can prevent problems from arising in the future. A professional will also make certain that all of the will formalities required by Texas law are met so your will is not declared to be invalid years down the road.

If you or a loved is thinking about drafting a will, or has attempted to draft 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.