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Interesting Developments In Inheritance Laws

My practice is limited to trials involving inheritance disputes including will contest, related property disputes and associated torts. To ask privately about a Texas litigation issue involving an inheritance dispute, click the big red button to go to our main site's contact page and ask a question privately.

Should the testator sign a will before the witnesses?

To see a discussion of the requirements of executing a will, click here.

What happens if the witnesses sign the will before the testator? Do the witnesses have to sign the will after the testator? As long as the execution of the will is done in one transactions, it doesn’t make any difference whether the testator or the witnesses sign first.

In a court case on the issue of who signs first, a chiropractor asked her secretary to type up a will for her. Later, two other employees of the chiropractor signed the will as witnesses. The will was then taken into the chiropractor who signed it. The notary then gathered the testator and the witnesses in a room and notarized the will. These transaction all occurred before noon.

The will disinherited the chiropractor’s children. When the chiropractor died, the children contested the will. They said that the will was void because the witnesses had signed the will before the testator. The trial court agreed. However, on appeal, the appeals court reversed. The appeals court held that as long as the signing of the will was done substantially contemporaneously with the execution, it was not a problem that the witnesses signed before the testator. As long as the signatures occurred at the same time and place and formed parts of the same transaction, the will could be valid even though the witnesses signed before the testator.

Pearls of wisdom: When you execute your will, make sure that it is done properly. The best way to insure that it is executed properly is to have an attorney prepare your will and supervise its execution.

Every person’s situation is different and requires an attorney to review the situation personally with you.

Copyright by Robert Ray a Texas inheritance attorney. The foregoing information is general in nature and does not apply to every fact situation. If you are concerned about inheritance laws, inheritance rights, have a family inheritance dispute, a property dispute or want information about contesting a will and need an inheritance lawyer, we can help. Please go to our main site www.texasinheritance.com and use the contact form to contact us today. We are Texas inheritance lawyers and would love to learn about your case and there is no fee for the initial consultation.

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We handle litigation involving inheritance disputes. We don't prepare wills. We handle a select few cases on contingency. Don't use a comment to ask a personal question about an inheritance issue because your name and comment will be public. To ask a litigation question and to protect your privacy, click the red button to the right.


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