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Can I Make a Testamentary Gift to Someone Who Witnesses My Will?

A testamentary gift to a beneficiary who is also a witness is presumed void. The reasoning behind this rule is that a witness who will benefit…

What Are The Odds That You Will Die an Untimely Death?

My colleague, Candice Aiston, an Oregon estate planning attorney, included some sobering statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (pdf) in a recent…

Does Marriage Revoke a Valid Preexisting Will?

Some states have pretermitted spouse statutes. In those states, if a person marries after making a will, and predeceases his spouse, then the surviving spouse will…

What is the Difference Between Per Capita, Per Stirpes, and Per Capita with Representation Distributions?

Per stirpes and per capita are commonly used terms in wills, trusts, and intestate distribution statutes to describe how a deceased person’s estate is to be…

How Does Divorce Affect a Previous Will?

Although there are no hard and fast rules about how often you should update your will, certain life changes, such as a divorce, will trigger a need…

Can I Disinherit My Spouse In Texas?

Texas is a community state. There is a presumption that all property acquired during the marriage belongs to the spouses in equal shares, unless it was…

Do I Need to File My Will?

The Texas Estates Code provides a procedure for those wanting to deposit a will with the clerk of the court for safekeeping. The cost of depositing a will…

How Do I Revoke a Will in Texas?

Throughout your life, changes will take place that may trigger a need to modify your will. These include events such as marriage, divorce, the birth or adoption of…