Texas Will Legislation

The statute which sets forth the requirements of Texas Wills is set out in Chapter I.V (execution and revocation of wills) of the Texas Probate Code. The select provisions are set out below:

Sec. 57. WHO MAY EXECUTE A WILL. Every person who has attained the age of eighteen years, or who is or has been lawfully married, or who is a member of the armed forces of the United States or of the auxiliaries thereof or of the maritime service at the time the will is made, being of sound mind, shall have the right and power to make a last will and testament, under the rules and limitations prescribed by law.
Sec. 58. INTERESTS WHICH MAY PASS UNDER A WILL. (a) Every person competent to make a last will and testament may thereby devise and bequeath all the estate, right, title, and interest in property the person has at the time of the person’s death, subject to the limitations prescribed by law.
(b) A person who makes a last will and testament may:
(1) disinherit an heir; and
(2) direct the disposition of property or an interest passing under the will or by intestacy.
(c) A legacy of personal property does not include any contents of the property unless the will directs that the contents are included in the legacy. A devise of real property does not include any personal property located on or associated with the real property or any contents of personal property located on the real property unless the will directs that the personal property or contents are included in the devise.
(d) In this section:
(1) “Contents” means tangible personal property, other than titled personal property, found inside of or on a specifically bequeathed or devised item. The term includes clothing, pictures, furniture, coin collections, and other items of tangible personal property that do not require a formal transfer of title and that are located in another item of tangible personal property such as a cedar chest or other furniture.
(2) “Titled personal property” includes all tangible personal property represented by a certificate of title, certificate of ownership, written label, marking, or designation that signifies ownership by a person. The term includes a motor vehicle, motor home, motorboat, or other similar property that requires a formal transfer of title.
Sec. 58b. DEVISES AND BEQUESTS THAT ARE VOID. (a) A devise or bequest of property in a will is void if the devise or bequest is made to:
(1) an attorney who prepares or supervises the preparation of the will;
(2) a parent, descendant of a parent, or employee of the attorney described by Subdivision (1) of this subsection; or
(3) a spouse of an individual described by Subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection.
(b) This section does not apply to:
(1) a devise or bequest made to a person who:
(A) is the testator’s spouse;
(B) is an ascendant or descendant of the testator; or
(C) is related within the third degree by consanguinity or affinity to the testator; or
(2) a bona fide purchaser for value from a devisee in a will.
Sec. 59A. CONTRACTS CONCERNING SUCCESSION. (a) A contract to make a will or devise, or not to revoke a will or devise, if executed or entered into on or after September 1, 1979, can be established only by:
(1) provisions of a written agreement that is binding and enforceable; or
(2) provisions of a will stating that a contract does exist and stating the material provisions of the contract.
(b) The execution of a joint will or reciprocal wills does not by itself suffice as evidence of the existence of a contract.”

The law relating to Texas Wills is very comprehensive and particular. You are advised to seek advice from an attorney when preparing your Last Will and Testament.

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