Handwritten (or Holographic) Wills

You need to be very careful with handwritten wills. A handwritten or holographic will typically refers to a will that you write in your own handwriting and did not sign in the presence of two witnesses and a notary.

Unless it is an emergency situation that prevents you from obtaining a will form or visiting a lawyer, it isn't a good idea to write your will in your own handwriting. Even if you sign the document in the presence of two witnesses and a notary, you could make a mistake, accidentally omit something important, or use words that may be confusing to the probate court.

If I write my will in my own handwriting, will it be valid?

If you write out your will, date the document, and sign your name in the presence of two witnesses and a notary, you have a valid will in most states. You'll need to check with the register of wills in your state or county to see whether a holographic (handwritten) will is acceptable.

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