Can A Beneficiary Attest A Will?

Robert Ray

Can A Beneficiary Attest A Will?

As stated in another post on this blog, a will has to be attested by two or more credible persons above the age of 14 who sign the will in their handwriting in the presence of the testator. Usually, a credible person is 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 when the will is filed for probate is a beneficiary? Can they testify to prove the will? The answer is yes. They can be compelled to testify. If the will can be proven without the testimony of the beneficiary or if someone can corroborate the beneficiaries testimony, the will can be admitted to probate, and the beneficiary will get his share. But, what happens if none of the above is true and the only way to prove the will is by the beneficiary? The bad thing for them is that the sections of the will leaving them part of the estate “shall be void.” §254.002 of Tex. Est. Codes (formally Texas Probate Code §61.)  In other words, they get nothing under the will. However, that section also provides that if the testimony of the beneficiary/witness and be corroborated or if someone else can testify about the will’s execution, the will can be probated and the beneficiary will receive his share.

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 or it will be more difficult to prove the will.


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The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
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