Jasper L. Edwards
The answer as to whether a holographic will (handwritten will) is legal is all to do with the
Firstly, a will must meet certain legal requirements regarding content, witnesses and
signatures. This is true whether or not the will is typed or holographic. Such requirements will
include a description of the testator (the will-maker); description of the estate and property, and
so on will.
Even if you do write a holographic will correctly, including all of
the relevant provisions that make a will valid, in approximately half of the states in the US,
such a will has no legal standing because these states do not recognize handwritten wills at all.
Therefore, in these states, there is no advantage to having a holographic will.
In the remaining states, however, any will can be revoked by a subsequent
handwritten will, by destroying the will in the presence of the testator, with his
consent or direction.
Be careful, too, about amendments such as handwritten inserts, which are
bound to raise an eyebrow in court as to whether such modifications were intended by the testator.
This could lead to the entire will being thrown out.
There is a valid reason as to why you should not amend a will using
handwritten notes. In US states where holographic wills have no legal standing, such handwritten
notes may be taken as a revocation of the entire will. And in those states where handwritten wills
are not accepted, it's possible you may leave the entire will open to misinterpretation.
In conclusion, what sets a will apart from all other legal agreements is that
the maker of the will is the only party that is deceased when the will is before the
courts. Because of this, there is no way to check with the testator as to what he or she
intended when the will was written. Given that the only document a court has at its disposal is the
will itself, it's really little wonder why the law is strict regarding format for legal
Free Wills to Print provides detailed
information on Free Wills, How to Write a Will, Last Will And Testament, Living Wills and