Welcome to the Kazi Law Firm! We are a boutique law firm steeped in Texas tradition personifying the warmth and congeniality consistent with southern hospitality. We believe in preserving integrity and professionalism with true Texan charm, staying true to our roots, while providing essential, affordable legal services to all. Located just north of Dallas, Texas in the rapidly growing suburb of Frisco; the Kazi Law Firm concentrates on contracts drafting and review, immigration law, will & estates, real estate law, landlord, tenant, mediation, and general business law needs.
During times of uncertainty and upheaval, like we are experiencing now in the midst of Covid-19, people are forced to face their own mortality. Death is a morbid topic that most of us want to avoid discussing or even thinking about. We understand the inevitable is lurking, but would rather put off planning for it for another day. However, recently, we have noticed an increasing trend in clients calling for Will drafting services. We applaud them for recognizing that their mortality can help open their eyes to opportunities.
Today, I wanted to discuss what constitutes a valid Will in Texas. There are several components:
- The testator (person making the Will) must have the legal capacity
- The testator must have the testamentary capacity
- The testator must have the testamentary intent
- The testator must follow specific formalities under Texas law
In Texas, you have legal capacity to make a valid Will if you are 18 years of age or older, are or have been lawfully married, or you are a member of the armed forces of the United States.
You have testamentary capacity if you are of “sound mind.” Texas courts have ruled that you have testamentary capacity to make a Will if you have the mental ability to understand the fact that you are making a Will, the effect of making a Will, the fact that you are disposing of your assets, the nature and extent of your property, you recognize your relatives/family members, and how all these factors relate in order to form a plan for the disposition of your property upon your death.
You have testamentary intent if at the time you sign your Will, you intend to make a writing that dictates how your property will be distributed after your death.
Texas is unique in that it recognizes two types of written wills:
- Holographic Will: Type of Will that is completely in the testator’s own handwriting and is signed by the testator. There is no need for witnesses or a notary.
- Attested Will: Type of Will that is most common today, is not in the testator’s handwriting, and in order to be deemed valid, it must be signed by the testator, or another person at the testator’s discretion and in his/her presence, and signed in the testator’s presence by at least two credible witnesses over the age of 14.
Under Texas statutory law, the testator has the option of adding a self-proving affidavit to the Will. The testator, witnesses, and a notary all have to sign a self-proving affidavit. The benefit of a self-proving affidavit is that it substitutes for in-court testimony of witnesses during probate, which saves time and money. Please keep in mind that if a Texas Will does not meet all the legal requirements, a court will declare it invalid. The devastating end-result will be the distribution of your assets according to Texas’ intestacy laws and not in the manner in which you intended. As you can see, it’s crucial to enlist the help of experienced wills and estate attorney to guide you through the intricacies of this vital document.
I built my law practice on the premise of being a life raft in a sea of sharks. I want to be an advocate for those that have been wronged and are too intimidated to seek help. My firm is here to explore your options, guide you through your legal journey, and give you that safe space to ask questions! There’s no such thing as a stupid question…Only the ones you don’t ask. So, my question to my clients is not “do you have any questions?” But rather “what questions do you have?”
As always, the Kazi Law Firm is standing by to help you in your time of need. Don’t hesitate to contact us today. We specialize in real estate law, landlord-tenant disputes, immigration, and wills & estate planning. Family is at the core of our practice. Just as we treat our family with respect and understanding, we treat yours. Come join the Kazi Law Firm family today!
Why swim alone in shark-infested waters when you don’t need to?