Wendy L. Prater
Attorney At Law

Wills

Why do I need a will?

Your will designates those persons you would like to receive your estate at your death, and the details of the distribution of your estate. If you do not have a will, the State of Texas, pursuant to the Texas Estates Code, will determine how your property passes to family members upon your death; however, you may want your property to go to certain family members other than those the state requires to inherit your property. Generally, it is a more simple procedure to distribute your estate with a will then without one.

What is an Executor?

The Executor (Executrix if a female) is the person designated in your will to distribute your estate. The Executor is usually named as an "Independent Executor". This means once the Independent Executor is appointed by the Court, this person has the freedom to distribute the estate without Court intervention.

What other decisions can be made in my will?

Other than the distribution of your estate, you can also name a guardian for any minor children, and the guardian of the estate of your minor children.

What is a holographic will?

Texas recognizes the existence of a holographic will, or a document entirely in the Testator's handwriting that disposes of the Testator's estate.

Must a will be signed?

Yes. A will must be signed by the Testator and two witnesses who are not related to you and who are not named as beneficiaries in your will.

What is a "self-proved" will?

A "self-proved" will is one in which the Testator's and witnesses' signatures are all notarized. By "self-proving" a will, it avoids the necessity of finding and bringing the witnesses who signed the will to testify at Court, and of proving the Testator's signature.

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Wendy L. Prater
Attorney at Law

1919 North Loop West, Suite 490
Houston, Texas 77008
Phone: (713) 802-9171
Fax: (713) 802-9173
E-mail