Self-Proving Your Texas Will

Texas allows you to self-prove your Last Will and Testament either at the time of signing or subsequently during the testator’s lifetime. It’s a useful way to help prove the Will once it’s time for probate. Generally, it dispenses with the requirement for your witnesses to attend court.

If you would like your Texas Will to be self-proved, you and your witnesses need to sign a self-proving affidavit.

Here is the relevant section of the Texas Probate code which also incorporates the self-prove affidavit form:

Sec. 59. REQUISITES OF A WILL. (a) Every last will and testament, except where otherwise provided by law, shall be in writing and signed by the testator in person or by another person for him by his direction and in his presence, and shall, if not wholly in the handwriting of the testator, be attested by two or more credible witnesses above the age of fourteen years who shall subscribe their names thereto in their own handwriting in the presence of the testator. Such a will or testament may, at the time of its execution or at any subsequent date during the lifetime of the testator and the witnesses, be made self-proved, and the testimony of the witnesses in the probate thereof may be made unnecessary, by the affidavits of the testator and the attesting witnesses, made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of this State. Provided that nothing shall require an affidavit or certificate of any testator or testatrix as a prerequisite to self-proof of a will or testament other than the certificate set out below. The affidavits shall be evidenced by a certificate, with official seal affixed, of such officer attached or annexed to such will or testament in form and contents substantially as follows: THE STATE OF TEXAS COUNTY OF ________________ Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared _______________, _______________, and _______________, known to me to be the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are subscribed to the annexed or foregoing instrument in their respective capacities, and, all of said persons being by me duly sworn, the said _______________, testator, declared to me and to the said witnesses in my presence that said instrument is his last will and testament, and that he had willingly made and executed it as his free act and deed; and the said witnesses, each on his oath stated to me, in the presence and hearing of the said testator, that the said testator had declared to them that said instrument is his last will and testament, and that he executed same as such and wanted each of them to sign it as a witness; and upon their oaths each witness stated further that they did sign the same as witnesses in the presence of the said testator and at his request; that he was at that time eighteen years of age or over (or being under such age, was or had been lawfully married, or was then a member of the armed forces of the United States or of an auxiliary thereof or of the Maritime Service) and was of sound mind; and that each of said witnesses was then at least fourteen years of age. ___________________________ Testator ___________________________ Witness ___________________________ Witness Subscribed and sworn to before me by the said ____________, testator, and by the said ________________ and _______________, witnesses, this ______ day of________________ A.D. ________________. (SEAL) (Signed)____________________________ (Official Capacity of Officer) (b) An affidavit in form and content substantially as provided by Subsection (a) of this section is a “self-proving affidavit.” A will with a self-proving affidavit subscribed and sworn to by the testator and witnesses attached or annexed to the will is a “self-proved will.” Substantial compliance with the form of such affidavit shall suffice to cause the will to be self-proved. For this purpose, an affidavit that is subscribed and acknowledged by the testator and subscribed and sworn to by the witnesses would suffice as being in substantial compliance. A signature on a self-proving affidavit is considered a signature to the will if necessary to prove that the will was signed by the testator or witnesses, or both, but in that case, the will may not be considered a self-proved will. (c) A self-proved will may be admitted to probate without the testimony of any subscribing witness, but otherwise it shall be treated no differently than a will not self-proved. In particular and without limiting the generality of the foregoing, a self-proved will may be contested, or revoked or amended by a codicil in exactly the same fashion as a will not self-proved.

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