Requirements of a Valid Will

Does a Will Need to be Notarized in Texas?

by Rania Combs

In Texas, Wills do not need to be notarized to be valid.  However, the required formalities of a valid Texas Will differ depending on whether the will is an attested Will or a holographic Will.

What is an Attested Will?

An attested will is the most common type of Last Will and Testament. To be valid, it must be in writing, signed by you, or another person at your direction and in your presence, and attested in your presence by at least two credible witnesses over the age of 14.

What is a Holographic Will?

A holographic will must be written completely in your own handwriting, and signed by you. There is no requirement that it be signed by any witnesses.

A person making a will has the option of adding a self-proving affidavit to the will. A self-proving affidavit is signed by the person making the will and two witnesses before a notary public. However, the absence of a self-proving affidavit does not invalidate the will.

About Rania

Rania graduated magna cum laude from South Texas College of Law Houston and is the founder of Rania Combs Law, PLLC. She has been licensed to practice law since 1994 and enjoys helping clients in Texas and North Carolina create estate plans that give them peace of mind.

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  1. judy jacob

    April 4, 2020 at 4:39pm

    Q1. Is “Power of Attorney” and “Executor” the same terms to use in a Will? Is there a preference. I am giving my son the Power of Attorney over my Will.

    Q2. Can I have my Last Will and Testament; And Trust(Living Will) in the same document, with 2 witnesses signatures. Or do they have to be two separate sheets of papers (documents) instead all in one page. I have them separated by sections: Section I. Last Will and Testament; Section II Trust(Living Will)?

    Q2. I have 3 adults children; can I assign each one of them as Power of Attorney in order of preference, for example, my son is first but if something happens to him, then I would like the next child to be Power of Attorney, and so on?

    1. Rania Combs

      April 7, 2020 at 6:16pm

      A1: Power of Attorney and Executor are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably. A personal representative appointed by the testator to administer the estate in accordance with his last wishes. A power of attorney is an agreement between two parties: a principal and an agent, which authorizes the agent to act on behalf of the principal.
      A2: The following article discusses the difference between a Will and a “living will”: What is the Difference between a Living Will and a Last Will and Testament? A Revocable Trust and Will are two separate documents.
      A3: I always recommend appointing an agent and alternates in case the agent is unable to act.
      An attorney can prepare documents for you to ensure the documents accomplish your goals and objectives.