A will is not effective until probated.

More than once I have had clients come to me years after a loved one has died claiming rights under a will. Unfortunately, the will was never admitted to probate and I have the unpleasant task of explaining the result.

Texas law requires you to produce a will in your possession after the decedent dies.

What constitutes a valid will?

A person who writes a will is called the “testator.” The will must be signed by the testator and, most importantly, must evidence the testator’s intention to make a gift effective at death. This intention is referred to as “testamentary intent” and is an absolute prerequisite to a valid will.

Just what is ‘Probate’ anyway?

The term probate refers to the entire process of wrapping up the affairs of one who has died, known as the "decedent." To navigate the probate process, you must answer a series of questions, including:

Is the decedent dead? Yep, you would think this one would be easy.