The Supreme Court of Texas has debuted new forms that allow individuals representing themselves to create a will.
The forms are the result of a change in state law passed by the 84th Texas Legislature and signed by the governor. They assist a person who is single, married, widowed, or divorced and those with or without children in creating a basic will.
“While these forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney, they are one of several efforts the Court and Legislature have undertaken to address the gulf of unmet legal needs in Texas,” Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht said in a news release.
He also noted that nationally, recent studies show 74% of low-income households experienced one or more civil legal problems within the past year.
“The truth is the majority of low-income Texans often have no other choices than to represent themselves or not participate in the justice system,” he said in the release. “These forms provide a standardized, legally sound way for Texans to access our justice system and record their wishes.”
Justice Jane Bland serves as deputy liaison to the Supreme Court Advisory Committee, which worked to bring the forms to fruition.
“The Court is grateful to the hard work of the Probate Forms Task Force, chaired by Judge Polly Spencer, and the dozens of other advisory attorneys, judges, and legal staff who worked to make these forms easy to understand and use,” she said in the news release.
The forms are available in English and bilingual English and Spanish versions. They were given preliminary approval by the court in September and disseminated for public comment. After receiving and analyzing the comments, the court granted formal approval finalizing the forms on May 5.
The following forms can be found at www.txcourts.gov/forms:
- Will form for a person who is single, widowed, or divorced and who has children
- Will form for a married person who has children
- Will form for a person who is single, widowed, or divorced and who does not have children
- Will form for a married person who does not have children