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Can A Beneficiary Attest A Will?

Written by Robert Ray

Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We handle inheritance disputes throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

Last updated Mar 22, 2016

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Can A Beneficiary Attest A Will?

As stated in another post on this blog, a will has to be attested by two are more credible persons above the age of 14 who sign the will in their own handwriting in the presence of the testator.  Normally, credible person means someone who does not take under the will.  Someone who is not a beneficiary.

Prove The Will In Court

But what if the only attesting person alive at the time the will is filed for probate is a beneficiary?  Can they testify to prove up the will? The answer is yes.  In fact, they can be compelled to testify.  The really bad thing for them is that the sections of the will leaving them part of the estate “shall be void.”  §254.002 of the Tex. Est. Codes, (formally Texas Probate Code §61.)  In other words, they get nothing under the will.

Don’t Take Part

The courts have held that the testator’s wishes to have a will should not be denied because the person who can prove the will is a beneficiary.  The moral is, if you are going to get something under a will, do not take part in its execution.

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