Handwritten Will

A handwritten will is also known as a “holographic will.”  The handwritten or holographic will is a last will and testament (“will”) which is completely handwritten by the person creating the will.   This person is also known as the “testator.”  The handwritten last will and testament is a legal document which specifies how a person wants his or her assets and property distributed upon death. 

Usually, a last will and testament is typed up as a formal legal document and signed by the testator in the presence of witnesses.  However, there are instances where a handwritten will is necessary.  For instance, if a person is in a life threatening health crisis, a holographic will may be necessary.  Also, if there is an emergency situation, one may have to resort to a holographic will.  In addition, if a person seeks to alter a previously drafted will but does not have the time to have a formal document drawn up, a holographic will may be utilized.  Not all jurisdictions recognize holographic wills; however, in those jurisdictions that recognize such wills, the wills must be witnessed. 

Are Handwritten Wills Legal?

Also, some jurisdictions allow holographic wills, but only if the will was drafted as a result of an emergency.   Furthermore, most jurisdictions recognizing holographic wills require several key components to the holographic will.   Initially, there must be evidence that the will was in fact the testator’s own will.  This may be supplied by handwriting comparison or analysis.  In addition, there must be an indication that the testator had the mental capacity to draft the will.   Furthermore, the holographic will must contain an expression of the testator’s intention to leave his or her property and assets to beneficiaries. 

Legal Help

Handwritten wills, also known as holographic wills, may not be legally recognized in your jurisdiction; therefore, it is imperative to check the law of the particular jurisdiction where the will was drafted in order to determine whether the will is legal.  An experienced estate planning attorney can direct you to the appropriate law and assist in drafting any type of will or other estate planning document.  In addition, an estate planning attorney can make sure that your will is legally valid.