We're often asked by patrons if we can provide them with a form or template for a “simple will.” A 2015 Texas law required the Texas Supreme Court to develop a simple will form, but as of October 2020 the form is still under development and is not available. However, the library has a number of helpful e-books available in our library's collection that include sample forms that can help you create your own will from scratch.
Legal publishers create drafting guides for wills that can be adapted to an individual’s needs. Everyone's situation is different, so you may need to look through the options available through our digital collection in order to find a drafting guide for a will that is suitable for you and your needs. To view any of our digital resources, you’ll first have to sign up for a free library account. If you have questions about accessing these resources or need more help with your research, please feel free to contact us directly.
Written with the general public in mind, this title from Nolo is a great starting point for our patrons looking for a basic introduction to creating their own will. Included in this book is a simple form for a Texas self-proving affidavit, an "all-purpose will," and forms for several different family structures (married with children, single, divorced, or widowed with no children, etc.).
This e-book is aimed at attorneys, but could easily be useful to a layperson interested in creating their own will. Chapter 10 covers wills generally, including basic requirements, revocations, executions, common provisions, and bequests to minors. Chapters 11-12 cover simple wills for single people or married couples. Each of these chapters has corresponding sample forms that can be downloaded, and several chapters also include flowcharts that can help you make sense of the process.
At first glance, this e-book doesn't seem like it would have much in the way of estate planning. However, Texas Small-Firm Practice Tools has an entire chapter (Chapter 11) dedicated to estate planning, including wills. You can also find several forms for creating your own will, including 11:60 Will, 11:80 Will with Trust, and 11:100 Will, with Trust and Marital Trust.
Tailored specifically for Texas residents, this e-book does a great job of covering the basics. Chapter 5 is dedicated entirely to wills and includes helpful definitions of legal terms related to wills and estates (like "fiduciary powers clause") as well as tips for creating your own will. This particular book doesn't contain any sample forms but might be a useful resource for anyone looking to understand the process.
Easily the most thorough and detailed resource available on estate planning at the State Law Library, this legal practice guide is the gold standard for anyone interested in a full overview of Texas estate planning law. Wills are covered in detail in Part 2 (chapters 10 – 16), and sample forms can be found in chapter 100.
We also link to a number of helpful resources available online on our research guide to Wills & Estates. If you’re having trouble deciding which drafting guide works best for you, it’s a good idea to talk to an attorney who could give you advice. Please see our Where to Go for Help page for more information on finding an attorney.