If mother passed away and verbally stated thather son gets everything, is it legal if there are witnesses?

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If mother passed away and verbally stated thather son gets everything, is it legal if there are witnesses?

Is this a verbal Will?

Asked on July 31, 2011 Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

TX recognizes "non-cupative" Wills" (i.e. an oral or spoken Will). A noncupative Will is allowed to dispose of personal property, but only in very limited circumstances. These circumstances include:

  1. Last sickness: The testator had to be on their deathbed when they spoke there "testamentary" words (i.e. the words gifting the property); 
  2. Location: The testator must have spoken the testamentary words at home, at a place they resided in for 10 or more days before speaking the words, or at any location if they were ill when they left and died before returning to home.
  3. Value of the gifted property: The value of the property the testator "bequeathed" (i.e. gifted)  could not exceed $30, unless 3 witnesses heard the testator speak the testamentary words.

Note: Only oral Wills that were made before September 1, 2007 will be given effect.

If the above does not apply to your situation then your mother died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will). In such a case TX intestacy law will apply. This can get complicated so you should speak to a probate attorney to further explain what heirs inherit and how much.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

TX recognizes "non-cupative" Wills" (i.e. an oral or spoken Will). A noncupative Will is allowed to dispose of personal property, but only in very limited circumstances. These circumstances include:

  1. Last sickness: The testator had to be on their deathbed when they spoke there "testamentary" words (i.e. the words gifting the property); 
  2. Location: The testator must have spoken the testamentary words at home, at a place they resided in for 10 or more days before speaking the words, or at any location if they were ill when they left and died before returning to home.
  3. Value of the gifted property: The value of the property the testator "bequeathed" (i.e. gifted)  could not exceed $30, unless 3 witnesses heard the testator speak the testamentary words.

Note: Only oral Wills that were made before September 1, 2007 will be given effect.

If the above does not apply to your situation then your mother died "intestate" (i.e. without a Will). In such a case TX intestacy law will apply. This can get complicated so you should speak to a probate attorney to further explain what heirs inherit and how much.


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