Attested Written Will
The most common type of will is the one normally associated with being prepared
by an attorney who is knowledgeable and experienced in the drafting and
preparation of wills.
Probably 99% of the wills I probate in my practice are this type.
An attested Texas will must be in writing and it must be attested (witnessed) by two or more competent witnesses. It may be made self-proving which will allow probate of the will without testimony of attesting witnesses. This means that you will not need to get the witnesses to appear in court with you to testify that they did in fact, see the decedent sign the will and that they believed the will correctly reflects the wishes of the decedent.
Obviously, the easiest and most reliable method of writing a will that the court will uphold is to employ the services of an attorney. Choose a probate lawyer who is experienced in the drafting of wills and have him/her record your wishes.
A holographic will is one that is hand-written. For it to be considered valid in the State of Texas, a hand-written will must be written completely in the handwriting of the testator and it must be signed. A holographic will can be written out on anything and it doesn't have to be signed by witnesses. As is the case with all kinds of wills, the person making out the will must have testamentary capacity and intent, meaning they are mentally competent and have the intent to do what they are doing at the time they write out and sign their will. They should not be under duress.
Pour Over Will
A "Pour Over Will" is often drafted for people with trusts. A pour over will simply states that following the issuance of letters testamentary, any assets not in the trust, be put into the trust and then the trust dictates how the assets are to be treated. This type of will has very little court supervision and has minimal requirements. The only time you would ever have a pour over will is in conjunction with a trust.
Michael L. Holland Attorney At Law
You should think about the following before your will can be drafted:
These are issues to consider and the attorney that will draft the will should be an excellent source of ideas based on his/her experience with past clients. Your lawyer can advise you on what is legal and what is advisable given your situation.