How do I write a will? To answer this common question, we should look at the anatomy of a Will. A will usually follows a certain pattern, this helps with determining if the testator knew what he/she was doing at the time that the document was written. The structure is in general as follows:
- Title (For example: “Last Will and Testament of Jane Doe”)
- Introduction (I, Jane Doe, of Galveston, Texas, declare this to be my Last Will and Testament …)
- Any prior wills must be revoked (For example: I revoke any prior wills and codicils made by me…)
- Who gets what (For example: I leave my knitting needles and patterns to my sister in law, Susie Mae Doe, I leave my car to my brother John Doe…)
- What happens to Residue Estate (For example: I leave the residue of my estate to my dear sister Jill Doe…)
- Sign and Date
- Signatures of Witnesses if legally required.
As you can see; creating a Will does not need to be very complicated, yet leaving out vital parts, or even not complying with the legal requirements may make a will invalid, complicate probate or have unintended consequences. It is therefore important to work with a licensed Texas Attorney, as well as making sure you talk to one ever 3-5 years to ensure your estate plan (Trust, Will, Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, etc.) still meets all the requirements necessary to reach your ultimate goals, because laws change constantly, and not every estate plan fits everyone’s needs.
If you have a fact-specific legal question, please email me, or communicate with me through my secure client area. To do so, simply login if you are an existing client, or request an introductory conference if you are interested in becoming a new client. You can also schedule your consultation TODAY by using our online scheduling portal.