New Official Will Forms from the Texas Supreme Court
June 13, 2023
If you’ve been thinking about writing a will, the Texas Supreme Court has made it easier to do so without an attorney. The court has approved several official forms for people who want to write their own will:
- 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 Does Not Have Children
- Will Form for a Married Person Who Does Not Have Children
The forms are on the Forms page of the Texas Judicial Branch website. Bilingual versions with instructions in English and Spanish are also available.
Do I need to have a will?
Texans are not required to have a will, but creating a will allows you to do the following:
- leave your property, money, and other assets to the heirs of your choosing
- name a guardian for any minor children or incapacitated adult children
- name a custodian to manage money or property left to anyone under 21 years of age
- designate a trusted person (called an executor) to carry out the wishes specified in your will.
If you don’t have a will, your property will be distributed according to default inheritance rules found in Texas Estates Code Chapter 201.
In 2015, Texas Legislature enacted Section 22.020 of the Texas Estates Code. This law required the Texas Supreme Court to create simple will forms for public use.
After extensive development, the court approved the final versions of the forms on May 5, 2023.
Who can use these forms?
The forms are designed for Texans who want to write their own basic will.
Please read the form instructions carefully to determine which form, if any, is right for you to use. If you have an unusual family situation, complex assets, or have questions about how to best distribute your property, you may have to consult an attorney for assistance.
Regardless of the situation, it’s always a good idea to have a lawyer review the completed will. This can help ensure that your wishes are properly documented. Visit our Find a Lawyer page for a list of bar associations, lawyer referral services, and legal directories.
More resources for wills & estate planning
We have several e-books written for people who want to write their own will. You can find a list of our recommended picks in our Legal FAQ "How do I create a simple will? Is there a form for that?"
For more information on Texas laws related to estate planning, please see the library’s Wills and Directives research guide.
As always, we’re happy to help with any research questions you may have about DIY estate planning. You may send us your questions through the Ask a Librarian section of our site.