With so many people moving to Texas today I often get the question “Can my will from another state be used in Texas?” The quick answer is, yes, as long as the will was created and signed properly within the laws of that other state, then the will should be accepted by a Texas court. However…
Having said that, you still should seriously consider getting another will made in Texas. Texas has one of the most simplified probate systems in the United States if your will is written with certain language in it. And this can make the whole probate process easier and less expensive for your family. But your will needs to be created in certain ways in order to take full advantage of these rules.
First of all, Texas law allows what is called independent administration, but the will must specifically state this request. With independent administration there is usually just a single court hearing where the will is accepted by the judge. After that the executor can typically go about distributing the assets the way the will states they should be. There’s no need to constantly go back to court to get permission to take any additional steps.
An independent administrator also will not have to post a bond with the court if the will states no bond is necessary. Another prime example of how just a few simple words added to your will can make a big difference.
Likewise, Texas law allows what is called a self-proving affidavit. If you have a self-proving affidavit in your will, then you don’t have to have the witnesses show up to court to testify that the will is valid. So basically the executor and his/her lawyer can go to that first probate hearing by themselves to get the whole process started. Needless to say this makes things so much easier.
To top it off, you can easily and inexpensively get your out-of-state will recreated here in Texas, so there’s no reason not to. Being able to take full advantage of these useful Texas rules for easier probate administration will save your family lots of time, money and stress in the future.