FAQs About Wills

Is The Will I Signed In Another State Valid in Texas?

by Rania Combs

I have written before that a move to another state can trigger a need to update your will. It’s not necessarily because the move invalidates the will. Generally, a will signed in accordance with the laws of one state would remain valid if you move to Texas.

Why is it important to have your will updated?

Texas has unique procedures and laws that can simplify probate and can affect the distribution of your estate.

Texas allows a testator to request an independent administration when the testator provides in his or her will that there should be no action in the probate court in the settlement of the estate other than the probating and recording the will and the return of an inventory, appraisement, and the list of claims of his estate or an affidavit in lieu of an inventory. Independent administrations usually involve only one court hearing and the filing of an inventory or an affidavit in lieu thereof, which simplifies the probate process.

Additionally, Texas wills can include a self-proving affidavit. The self-proving affidavit affirms that the will was properly signed by the testator in the presence of two witnesses, who observed the testator sign his will and heard him say that it was his last will and testament. The benefit of a self-proving affidavit is that it eliminates the need for witnesses to appear in a probate proceeding to testify about the validity of a will, which saves time and expense. Some states do not permit the use of a self-proving affidavit.

While the Will you made in another state may be valid in Texas, it is not likely to be as effective as one specifically drafted to take advantage of Texas’ probate process. Having a Will tailored to this state’s laws will ensure that your estate is handled in the most expeditious manner and your property is distributed according to your wishes.

This article was originally published on February 27, 2012, and updated on January 1, 2023.

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. Will The State Get All My Assets If I Die Without A Will?

    May 29, 2013 at 1:53pm

    […] Is The Will I Signed In Another State Valid in Texas? […]

  2. Karen

    September 7, 2014 at 10:32pm

    You address wills made in other states, but if I make my will in Texas and make the executor someone who resides in Iowa, is that a problem? Or should I just make him sole beneficiary?

    1. Rania Combs

      September 8, 2014 at 1:20pm

      For information regarding naming a non-resident as the executor of your Will, please refer to the following article: Can a Non-Resident Serve as the Executor of My Estate?

  3. Elsie

    May 16, 2017 at 1:54pm

    Dear Attorney Combs,

    Thank you so much. You are wonderful! Simply wonderful. I appreciate your efforts and valuable time and will refer any one to you for your services.

    1. Rania Combs

      May 30, 2017 at 4:08pm

      I’m glad you found this article helpful.