Can the lawyer be a beneficiary?

Written by Robert Ray

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

Last updated Jan 2, 2020

The quick answer is no, he can’t.  Texas has a statute that says that a devise or bequest of property in a will to the attorney who prepares or supervises the preparation of the will or to an heir or employee of the attorney is void.  This statute applies to anyone who is not related to the attorney.  The attorney can be a beneficiary of his family’s wills even if he prepares it.

In a recent case, an attorney had a woman working in his office that was an independent contractor.  She was not an employee of the attorney.  She was a paralegal but she just did occasional work for the attorney.  She also did occasional work for other attorneys who shared office space with the attorney who drafted the will.  The will made her a beneficiary and also appointed her as the executor of the will.

A sister of the testator contested the provisions of the will leaving part of the estate to the paralegal.  The court agreed with the sister and ordered the paralegal to return all of the property that she had received to the heirs of the testator.  The court also ordered the paralegal to pay the attorney fees of the sister.

The paralegal appealed claiming that the statute did not apply to her since she was not an employee.  The appeals court denied her appeal and held that the gift to the paralegal was void.  Jones v Krown.

Your Privacy

We take your privacy very seriously. We are keenly aware of the trust you place in us and our responsibility to protect your privacy. We treat all information provided to us with care and discretion.

Robert Ray is Board Certified

Robert Ray is the Editor and owner of this site. Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law — Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

We handle cases throughout Texas. Our principal office is in Lantana, Texas (DFW area).

Robert Ray Texas Inheritance

Click here to email us or to go to the contact form if you want to contact us about a Texas inheritance dispute.

Who and What we Are

Robert Ray is Board Certified

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

Your Privacy

We take your privacy very seriously. We are keenly aware of the trust you place in us and our responsibility to protect your privacy. We treat all information provided to us with care and discretion.

Let Us Help You

You May Also Like…

Contesting a will in Texas

Zoom type workshops?

In the age of Covid-19. we have been thinking of having monthly or bi-monthly, free, Zoom type workshops where participants discuss with us issues that are of interest to them. There would be no agenda, we would discuss areas that the participants wanted to discuss. Participants could attend by computer, tablet or smartphone.

This would be a public Zoom type meeting so nothing personal or confidential should be discussed. Just general questions. Personal or confidential questions should be asked by using the Contact Us tab above.

If you think we should start having these workshops, please leave your email so we can notify you?

We will notify you if we decide there is interest in the workshops. Thanks for letting us know.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This