In the past, many people would write their will on a piece of paper and sign it, but that led to problems with individuals faking wills so a self made handwritten will has developed its own name, referred to as a holographic will or oligarchical will. A will that is handwritten and signed by the person making the will (otherwise known as the Testator) is a holographic will.
A holographic will includes the following traits:
- A holographic will is a handwritten will
- Typed wills are typically not considered holographic
- Standard wills and holographic wills have different witness requirements
- Not all states recognize holographic wills
Proving a holographic wills validity
Traditionally, a will must be signed by witnesses attesting to the validity of the testator’s signature and intent, but in many jurisdictions across the country are treated similarly to standard wills.
Minimum requirements for a will to be valid
In many states, holographic wills that have not been witnessed are treated equally to witnessed wills and need only to meet minimal requirements in order to be probated:
- There must be evidence that the testator actually created the will, which can be proved through the use of witnesses, handwriting experts, or other methods.
- The testator must have enough intellectual capacity to write the will, although there is a presumption that a testator had such capacity unless there is evidence to the contrary.
- The testator must be expressing a wish to direct the distribution of estate assets to beneficiaries.
A holographic will is different from a normal will
A holographic will is a handwritten will as apposed to a normal will which is typed and usually created by an estate planning attorney. Wills written by attorneys are witnessed and stamped by a notary. The destinction is important because some states do not allow holographic wills.
Some states do not allow holographic wills
Many states do not allow holographic wills. For instance, Florida does not allow holographic wills under any circumstances. These states do allow holographic wills.
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Using A Holographic Will
If you are an heir, beneficiary or executor to an estate that has a holographic will, you should hire a probate attorney to tell you if the will can be used or not. It is likely that if there is any substantial money in the estate, you will have to go through probate. If you are in probate and need money immediately, a financial tool that can help you is a probate advance, estate advance, inheritance advance otherwise known as an estate loan, probate loan or inheritance loan.
Different Types Of Wills
A holographic will is different from other forms of wills because it is handwritten and thus, the burden of proof may not be met with a holographic will to prove its validity. Other types of wills include the following:
1. Simple Will
2. Testamentary Trust Will
3. Joint Will
4. Living Will« Back to Glossary Index