Your Last Will and Testament is a very important legal document for you and everyone affected by it, and in order for it to be recognized as legally valid it must meet a very strict set of requirements. These strict requirements are designed to make sure the document the Court recognizes as your Will has not been tampered with. One form of tampering that your Will may be vulnerable to is somebody substituting a page of your Will so it says what they want it to say and not necessarily what you want it to say.

The case of the Pilkilton Estate involved a Will contest between the deceased’s siblings and grandchildren over who would receive the property in the Estate. One of the allegations in the Will contest was that a page in the Will was changed, corrected, or substituted after the deceased and witnesses properly executed the Will. If the allegation was true, the Will would not be entitled to recognition by the Court because after a Will is executed you are not allowed to change, correct, or substitute a page without re-executing an entirely new Will or Codicil.

In this case there was not sufficient evidence to prove a page substitution had taken place. There was evidence that there was a correction made to the Will, but none of the testimony claimed the correction took place after it was originally signed.

What you might not know is a dispute like this can be rather easily avoided. How? When you sign your Will your Woodlands Texas Living Trust Lawyer should have you initial the bottom of each and every page. This handwritten mark on each page makes it much more difficult for anyone to slip in a page after you have signed your Will. It is not legally required that you initial each page, but it does help to avoid problems like the Pilkilton Estate had. For even greater protection if a Will contest is likely, the witnesses can also initial each page.

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