How to Make Your Own Will and Testament in Texas

By Jeffry Olson, J.D.

How to Make Your Own Will and Testament in Texas

By Jeffry Olson, J.D.

If you own property, you should have a will and testament, as it establishes who inherits your property upon your death. In this document, you also state who is in charge of distributing your property. If you have minor children, a will and testament allows you to appoint their guardian.

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In the state of Texas, you can draft your own will and testament without hiring an attorney, either by creating one online or by writing a holographic will by hand.

Steps for Using the Internet to Draft Your Will

You can use the internet to help you draft your own will and testament.

  1. Research the statutory requirements for a will in the state of Texas.
  2. Find an example of a will online that closely resembles your own situation. For example, if you are married and have two children, find a sample will online that is similar.
  3. Use that example to draft your own will, meeting the Texas requirements for a will and testament. It might be helpful to mimic the best sections from a variety of sample wills.

Online services for drafting your own will are also available. These online services first ask a number of questions, including details about you, your heirs, your assets, and the distribution of assets required upon your death. You must name an executor, or the individual you've chosen to oversee the distribution of your assets. The online service then drafts your will for you, making it available for download or by email. Some services have attorneys available to review your will.

When you have your will, whether you draft it yourself or use an online service to draft it for you, the final step is to execute the will in compliance with Texas law. This means you must execute the will in front of two witnesses who also must sign it.

Creating a Holographic Will

The state of Texas recognizes holographic wills, or wills written out by the individual, called the testator. In this case, you must write out your entire will and testament by hand. A form that you fill in by hand and then sign does not qualify as a holographic will.

  1. Identify yourself and your beneficiaries so that someone reading your will (who does not know you) can identify all parties.
  2. Identify your assets and how you want them distributed upon your death.
  3. Sign and date your holographic will. It does not require witnesses to be legally valid.

The testator must have testamentary capacity—sound mind—for a holographic will or other will you create yourself to be valid. You must have the mental ability to understand that you are making a will, what the impact of the will is, what property you own, the individuals that are your relatives and likely heirs, the fact that you are determining how to distribute your assets upon your death, and how your will creates a plan for the orderly disposition of your property.

Drafting your own will is an option in the state of Texas. Whether you draft a will and execute it in front of two witnesses or draft a holographic will in your own hand without witnesses, a properly executed will and testament determines the distribution of your assets upon your death.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.