Last Will and Testament Invalid Estate Planning Probate Attorney | Dallas Probate Lawyer

How Mary found out that her father’s Last Will and Testament was not valid in Texas.

Consider Mary’s story when preparing your Last Will and Testament.

Mary’s father recently passed away. He and her stepmom lived in Highland Park in Dallas, Texas and were married for 15 years. Her stepmom had 2 children from her previous marriage. Mary’s entire family and extended family were all very close and spent time together at her dad’s various vacation homes during the holidays, birthdays, and summer breaks. Her dad was very open and clear on how his estate would be distributed at his death and that Mary was to be appointed as his Independent Executor and was to receive the majority of his estate assets.  He was a very proud man and made it known that he had taken care of everything that had to do with his large estate.

Shortly after his passing, Mary and her stepmom went to visit a probate attorney in Dallas. It felt as if she were punched in the gut when the probate attorney reviewed the Will and told her that it was NOT valid. How could that be and what did that mean???

It meant that her dad’s wishes would not be met, and a Dallas County Judge would decide who the Independent Executor would be and how his multi-million-dollar estate would be distributed, leaving Mary far less (possibly millions less) than her father intended.

As you can see below, there are various ways that you can create a Will. However, keep in mind there could devasting consequences if it is not prepared properly.

  • You can purchase a Will kit online and hope that it is valid in the State of Texas,   
  • You can scribble your last wishes on a napkin at the bar, as long as you are sober,
  • You may think you can grab your phone and give a long video dissertation on how you want your assets disposed of when you die, but good luck with that. That is currently not valid in the State of Texas, or
  • You can speak with an Estate Planning Attorney. (Hint, hint, BEST option!)

The Importance of Speaking with an Attorney

Mary's story is an example of how not having a valid Will in Texas can have devastating outcomes for your loved ones after your death. That is why we HIGHLY recommend having a qualified Estate Planning Attorney review or draft your estate planning documents to ensure they meet the requirements of The State of Texas in order to avoid possible estate conflict.

Do You Need To Speak With An Experienced Probate Lawyer In The Dallas Area?

If you need to speak to an experienced probate lawyer please contact us online or call our Dallas office directly at 214.559.7202. We help clients throughout the Dallas area with all of their probate needs and look forward to helping you.



Lori Ashmore Peters
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Helping Dallas, Park Cities, Highland Park Texas Area Families with Estate Planning, Probate & Litigation