How Do I Write a Holographic Will?


Quick Answer

Anyone can create a holographic will by writing down his wishes for who inherits his property and signing the paper. A hand-written, unwitnessed will is legal in about half of the United States, while some states also require that a hand-written will also be dated. To be valid, a holographic will must be completely hand-written.

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How Do I Write a Holographic Will?
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Full Answer

Some additional states allow soldiers at war or sailors at sea to create holographic wills that become invalid soon after they leave the military or return to land. Holographic wills can be difficult to legally validate in probate court once the person who created the will has passed away. A printed will that is signed by at least two witnesses is legal in all states, because the witnesses who sign a will can be called upon to testify that the will is valid.

Holographic wills undergo additional scrutiny in probate, including the necessity to validate the person's handwriting and make sure that the will accurately reflects the intentions of the deceased. A handwritten note can be something the deceased signed under someone's influence or simply never intended to be carried out. A printed will is easy to create while offering the security of being legally enforceable, and there are forms readily available online to help.

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