Testamentary Intent and the Texas Probate Code
Testamentary intent is the mental state required to create a valid Will. In Texas, drafting a valid Will includes complying with the statutory physical and mental requirements. To create a valid Will, you must typically have at least two witnesses present while you sign your Will. Your witnesses must also sign your Will in your presence. If you are unable to sign your Will, you can have someone else sign it on your behalf and at your direction as long as the third party signs it in front of your witnesses. In most cases, you do not have to sign your full name on the signature line of your Will, as long as you are mentally competent and understand the Will is your final Will.
In addition to meeting the physical statutory requirements for creating a valid Will, you must meet the mental or intent requirements. In Texas, your Will must contain some evidence that you are of sound mind and are intending to create a valid Will and using this document to express your final intent. Your attorney will insert some language in your Will evidencing testamentary intent, including a statement that your Will serves as a final or last Will and Testament. Your attorney will also use words stating that you are making your Will to reflect your desire regarding the disposition of your property and assets upon death.
If you have questions about testamentary intent or other questions about estate planning issues, then please call for an initial one-hour consultation, which is at no-charge. We at the Mendel Law Firm can help you uncover your options and choose the strategy that is best for you.