Brother in law didnt have a will but found a signed letter stating who inherits what is that legal in texasi

Asked about 2 years ago - Dallas, TX

He has two children

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Isaac David Shutt

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It could be legal if it meets certain requirements for a handwritten will. Look up Texas Probate Code Sections 60 and 84, or you can schedule a free consultation with an attorney in your area. A probate attorney can tell you if this "letter" can actually be considered a valid Will under Texas law.
    In general, a handwritten will must be completely in the testator's handwriting, signed, and dispose of testator's property upon death.
    Again, I recommend meeting with an attorney for help. Even if the letter can't be legally considered a Will, there are options available for legally transferring your brother-in-law's property.

    DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this answer constitutes legal advice. If you have a legal question, you should consult an... more
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are going to need an estates lawyer to help you here. Call Mr. Shutt as he offers insight into this problem.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  3. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with the other responses. Most states have laws providing for "holographic Wills" to be admitted to probate, if they meet certain requirements. Whether your written letter qualifies or not is not clear from your facts.

    As is the case with ANY Will, the document only applies to assets titled in the decedent's name alone. If the assets are jointly owned or have a beneficiary designated, the Will would not apply. Additionally, many states have statutes that include allowances and exemptions for children. Even if the document IS determined to qualify as a Will, there may be other issues that you need to deal with.

    I highly recommend you meet with a probate attorney to see what you have and how best to proceed. Attorney Shutt has already given you a good response. I would contact him first.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more
  4. Howard Robert Roitman

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Take the will to a lawyer and see what he says!

    The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing... more

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