How to create your own will and testament
Wills are an emotional thing to create. It’s often one of the hardest things some of us will have to do. However it’s just a part of life, it’s something that tells the world what you want to do with your property and belongings. Please note that if you have a life insurance policy, you can not put the beneficiary in your will and testament and expect them to get the money if the individual on the policy is different. Additionally, this is specific to the state of texas, please look up your laws and regulations if you are outside of the state of Texas.
“A last will and testament is a document that sets forth the wishes of a deceased person, called a decedent, for the distribution of his property after his death,” states Legal Zoom, a digital law firm. In essence, it’s the last thing you will ever say.
What are the steps to filing a final will and testament?
The following are the current steps for filling a will and testament. Do not take these words as law, consult an attorney or do your research to find out the most current and correct laws for you.
Get a pen and paper
In Texas the only will you can submit on your own is a holographic will, this means that you handwrite the will. Nothing can be typed.
Write the will
When you write the will, you need to start off by declaring that you are of sound mind. You must also be able to show that you were of sound mind when you wrote the will. Additionally, if you have any other wills in existence you must revoke them in this will. Legal Zoom says “Set forth your property and to whom the property will be bequest to. It is not necessary to list every item being bequeathed. Categorical bequests, such as “my automobiles to Jane” or “my clothing to Jack” are sufficiently specific bequests. However, merely listing fractions of your estate, such as “one-half to Jane, one-half to Jack” is not sufficiently specific.”
Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that you include a residuary clause. This is essentially the “leftovers” anything that is not given away. Otherwise, the remainder could be passed through instancy. Meaning no one you wanted to get that property would get it. Finally, make sure that you mention your reason for leaving a close relative out of the will (if you are) otherwise they could challenge the will. This just provided clarification for the court.
Sign and Date the Will and Testament
Finally, it’s that time. You can sign and date the will at the bottom of the page.
Submit a self-proving affidavit
This is the second to last step. You’re almost there, take out another piece of paper, and write that you are of sound mind, that this is your final will and testament and that you have not revoked the will at the time of writing this. Then sign and date the paper and attach it to the will.
Deliver the will to the probate court
Okay – so you’ve done the hard part. Now take the will to the probate court pay the typical fee, and keep the certificate of deposit in a safe place. After you have done that you’re all done. You can follow this same process to submit new and revised wills as your estate gets larger or closer individuals/childer/grandchildren enter your life.