Are Handwritten Wills Valid?

Due to the fact that states did not desire to make it more hard for people to deal with their property, a lot of them enable handwritten, or holographic wills. While lawfully valid in numerous states, handwritten wills do present possible problems for customers.

Formality of Wills

Wills are infamously official in nature. Lots of individuals who execute wills do so within the boundaries of a legal workplace with a notary and witnesses present. State laws may mandate these people to be present. In addition, state law may require the witnesses to see the testator sign the will in addition to see the other witness. State laws may need the testator to declare the document to be his or her last will and testimony in order for it to be legitimate. Usually, it is required for 2 witnesses to be present. Some states require that there be three witnesses. These witnesses should normally be considered “disinterested,” implying that they do not stand to acquire anything in the will.

Fundamentals of a Handwritten Will

To avoid the needed formalities associated with signing a typed will, some states have abbreviated rules for the testator. Some states allow the handwritten will not to be witnessed at all. However, other states need similar procedures as those present in typed wills. The hope

Requirements for a Holographic Will

State law determines the requirements for a lawfully valid holographic will. Some states require the will to be completely handwritten. If the will is partly handwritten and partly typed, state law might determine that the typed arrangements are disregarded. Some states need the will to be dated. It must typically be signed to be valid. Additionally, the individual making the will might require to provide language that states that she or he plans the will to act as his/her last will and testament. The testator should be of sound mind at the time of making the will.


Even in states where holographic wills do not require to be witnessed, the probate court will usually need a minimum of two individuals to testify that the will is written in the handwriting of the testator.

Jurisdictions that Acknowledge Holographic Wills

Approximately half of the states recognize holographic wills. This includes Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming. Some jurisdictions recognize holographic wills but only for sailors or individuals associated with the militaries, which become invalid upon the person’s return. Other states just confess holographic wills if they are drafted in another state and satisfy the legal requirements of wills in that state. Some states specifically prohibit the admission of holographic wills.

Proving the Credibility of the Will

One of the more substantial problems associated with holographic wills is showing their validity in court of probate. When witnesses are present, they might have the ability to affirm that they observed the execution of the will. They might sign an evidence of will form to this effect. For holographic wills, proof must be generated revealing that the handwriting is certainly the testator’s. The executor may likewise need to supply sufficient proof that the testator seemed to know what he or she was doing at the time of executing the will and was without any unnecessary influence by others at the time that he or she signed the will.

Complications of Holographic Wills

Creating a holographic will can result in some problems. Judges might be more suspicious of these files and more susceptible to think that they were the result of browbeating. Furthermore, if there are no witnesses, they can be tough to confirm. Hybrid wills that have blanks for individuals to fill out might not stand if they do not comply with the rules of typed wills. These wills might cause greater confusion such as when the testator tries to make changes by erasing provisions.

Legal Assistance

While holographic wills might be accepted in lots of jurisdictions, not appropriately preparing the will can result in it being invalid and the testator’s estate being subject to the rules of intestacy. This can trigger the testator’s last wishes not to be honored. Individuals who are contemplating how to get rid of their property after their demise might want to contact an estate planning lawyer for help. An estate planning attorney is familiar with the particular laws in the jurisdiction. She or he can make sure that the proper formalities are followed.