Estate Planning, Probate, Uncategorized, Will Contests, Wills

Someone Else Can Sign Your Will

Did you know that someone else can sign a will for you?

That’s right: Texas law permits another person to sign on behalf of a person (the testator), meaning another person can sign a document that disposes of all your property.

Under the right circumstances that is.

Of course this system can get abused, so Texas has some rules in place.

First, you must have the creator of the will, or the testator, direct another person to sign for the testator.

Second, the signing must be done in the testator’s presence. No sneaking a signature in a backroom.

And, third, the testator must have “testamentary capacity,” meaning that the testator actually means to dispose of their property through this formal document. No tricking the testator into signing a “bill” that actually is a will wrongly disposing of their property.

It sounds strange, but there are instances where this is permissible.

So when would you do this?

If someone is on their deathbed and unable to sign on their own behalf.

When the testator lacks the ability to use their hands to sign.

Or if the testator is unable to travel to get the will signed.

But, and this is a huge but, the signatures and the language of the document must reflect these changes.

Additionally, the party signing on behalf of the testator must clearly show the circumstances in both the will’s document and the self-proving affidavit that they are signing on behalf of the testator.

And even then, a judge is most likely to make a fuss about how the will was signed.

Moral of the story? Always sign your own will well before you may need someone else to sign on your behalf. And, if you do need someone to sign on your own behalf, get an attorney to supervise it to ensure that the signing complies with the specific requirements of the law to the greatest extent possible given the circumstances.