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 Legal Briefs
I Just Moved To Texas - Do I Need A Will?
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  By Kathleen Cassidy Goodman, PLLC
F requently, I encounter the question: “I just moved to Texas, do I need a new Will?” The short answer is – “It
depends.” If you are one of those people who recently moved to Texas from another state, you may need to have a new Will prepared to ensure things go smoothly upon your death.
A Will details how your property will be distributed upon your death, and a self- proved Will provides evidence to the Court that the Will was properly executed. Each state defines what elements are essential for a Will and for a Self-Proving Will. While most Wills prepared by an attorney from another state are “valid”, your out-of-state Will may not contain the language the Texas Court needs to simplify the process.
The first hurdle to probate a Will that is not executed with the formalities under Texas law, is that the Will must be in writing and executed in compliance with the law of the state where you resided, or where the Will was executed. If you pass away in Texas, then your executor’s attorney must provide this information to the Court.
Second, the out-of-state Will must comply with your former state’s requirements for Self-Proved Wills. A
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Barbara would research and Linda would write the stories. Barbara was honored when the city of Leon Valley named Poss Road after her parents and grandparents. She spent many years volunteering with the Leon Valley Historical Society and the Friends of the Leon Valley Library. She
Self-Proved Will provides the Court with evidence that the Will was properly executed. Upon your death, your Executor’s attorney must introduce evidence to the Court and demonstrate to the Court that your Will complies with your former state’s requirements for a Self-Proved Will. The evidence of your former state’s law can be easily accessed, but it does require some additional research.
If you are like most individuals, the reason you decided to prepare your Will was to simplify the process for your loved ones after you are gone. With a Texas Will the process is simplified if the Will provides for “Independent Administration”. Basically, Independent Administration allows your executor to serve without obtaining a bond and allows the executor to serve without Court oversight.
Your out-of-state Will may not meet the criteria for “Independent Administration” and then your executor may be required to obtain a bond and your estate my incur additional attorney’s fees for the Court’s oversight. True, you will have to pay a second time, but by updating your documents, you will ensure your family does not have additional stress during your
created files for many of the area’s founding families to archive in the library. Fryer joined the Historical Society of Helotes several years ago and enjoyed many field trips the Society sponsored. She is survived by three children, six grandchildren and three great- grandchildren. She was buried at Sunset Memorial Park on March 3.
last illness or at the time of your death.
Kathleen Cassidy Goodman
is an attorney in areas of estate planning, probate, civil litigation, and business law. She can be reached
at her office in Helotes at (210) 949-1000 or for more information, visit www.
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