Self-Proving Wills in Texas
Historically, Texas recognized three types of wills.
- Holographic will: A will written entirely in the deceased’s handwriting.
- Attested will: A will not entirely in the deceased’s handwriting (typically a typewritten will)
- Oral will (sometimes called a nuncupative will or deathbed wish.
- Because of their limited application, oral wills made (signed) after Sept. 1, 2007, are no longer valid in Texas.
Holographic wills need no witnesses to be valid. The law simply requires that the document be entirely in the deceased’s handwriting and signed. No date is required, but one should be included. A holographic will may be made self-proving either at the time it is signed or any time thereafter before the maker (testator) dies.
A valid attested will requires the maker’s signature and the signature of two or more credible witnesses.
A credible witness is a competent person older than 19 who is not a beneficiary of the will. The maker need not sign the will in the presence of the witnesses, but he or she must sign prior to the witnesses signing. The witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the maker but not in the presence of each other.