While anyone with substantial assets may recognize the need to consult with a Texas attorney to formulate a will in the first place, some people do not realize that changing a will also may require legal assistance. Simply crossing through names or items is not sufficient. If you are looking for what lay people call a “will attorney” in the Dallas area, please reach out for a consultation.
Making Changes to Your Will
As circumstances in your life change, you may wish to alter your existing estate plan. Perhaps you no longer want someone to serve as executor of your estate, or you want to change the amount of money you leave someone. Keep in mind that any change, big or small, must be made with the proper “solemnities and formalities” as required by Texas law. Generally speaking, this means you approach changes to your will the same way you approached executing your will in the first place.
Texas does not recognize partial physical revocation – writing on the will that alters the terms of the will. This includes drawing a line through a name, scribbling additional language in the margins, and similar actions. Rather, these changes must be made in a separate document, called a codicil, which amends the will, or by executing a new will altogether.
Drawing a line through a provision in the will might seem quick and easy, but will actually cause significant problems when your will is offered for probate. If you are considering altering your will, you should contact an attorney to make sure such changes are properly made.
This blog post has explored, very briefly, some of the issues involved in how to change a will under Texas law. The reality is that simply crossing things out is usually insufficient. If you in the greater North Texas area, reach out to one of our attorneys for a consultation on how to change a will. Our Dallas-based attorneys specialize in probate law, including wills and inheritance.