Monday, January 23, 2012

Can a Copy of a Will be Probated in Texas?

Once a Texas will has been properly drafted and executed, the original should be kept in a safe place.  This should be a place that is dry and safe, such as a fireproof box.  The will may also be kept in a safe deposit box, however, this is not always the best option because it will be less accessible. A safe deposit box should only be used if someone other than the testator (person who signed the will) has access to the box. Ideally, the other person with access will not be someone who often travels with the Testator because there would still be a problem if something should happen to the two of them together.  Therefore, I always advise married couples who want to place their original wills in a safe deposit box to be certain that a third person has access to the box.

If a will is lost and cannot be found, it is possible to submit a copy to the probate court where a probate case is filed.  The Texas Probate Code specifically allows for this, however, there is no guarantee that the document will be accepted by the probate judge as valid and current (unrevoked), especially if there is other evidence to the contrary.

Therefore, it is always best to be very careful to keep the original will safe at all times, and if it cannot be located when needed to make a complete and diligent search for the will. Keep it safe and dry, with other important documents and be sure that you know where it is at all times.

Kalish Law Office The Woodlands, Texas 281-363-3700 "Passionate, Professional and Personal. We Make the Difference".  Since 1984  Check out our probate page on our website for additional information


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