Foreign Wills in Texas


In this quick blog post, we touch on the topic of “foreign wills” in regard to the laws in Texas concerning last wills and testaments. As a law firm involved in all aspects of Texas wills, including will contests under Texas law, we are excited to share this information with the general public. Remember, however, that every situation is unique, and interested parties are reminded to contact our Dallas-based attorneys for an initial phone consultation regarding any issues concerning last will and testaments in Texas, up to and including disputes or litigation.

In Texas, we call anyone who is not from around here “foreign,” and the same is true of our last wills and testaments. Any will that is not a Texas will is a foreign will – whether from another state in the Union or from another country. Sometimes, it is necessary to open a probate estate in Texas when a foreign will has been filed in another state or country, and when the person who passed away (the “decedent”) did not live in Texas.

Texas Will LawyersLuckily, Texas provides a fairly straightforward procedure for admitting a foreign will in a Texas court. If the foreign will was admitted to probate in the foreign location where the decedent lived, then all that is necessary is simply filing special copies of those probate documents with the Texas court. If the foreign will was admitted to probate in a location where the decedent did not live, then the process is slightly more involved but still not too difficult. The applicant to file a foreign will for admission by a Texas court must file the special copies along with a new application requesting that the court issue letters testamentary to the executor named in the foreign will.

If there is no need to administer any property in Texas (usually when there is only real property in the Texas estate), then it is possible simply to record special copies of the foreign will and order admitting the will to probate in the foreign location in the Texas deed records. The simple recording of those documents is sufficient in most circumstances to transfer the property according to the terms of that foreign will.


In Texas, as we have learned, last wills and testaments from other states in the United States are called “foreign.” To comply with the requirements of Texas law is not complicated but may require an attorney. If you or your loved ones have questions concerning last wills and testaments under Texas law, up to and including will contests or disputes, please reach out for an initial phone consultation with one of our Texas will lawyers. Our convenient location in Dallas, Texas, also makes in-person consultations as easy as over-the-phone consultations.