When someone dies and the only will that person left behind is one that is handwritten without witnesses, you may wonder whether or not it is a legal binding document. A handwritten will without witnesses is called a holographic will and is legal in several states. Find out more about the steps you will need to take about a deceased loved one's estate when that person only left behind a holographic will.
How To Prove The Validity of A Holographic Will
Proving that a handwritten document was written by your deceased loved one can be challenging. If you live in one of the states that does allow holographic wills, your first step is to have the handwriting examined by an expert in handwriting analysis. You may need to produce family members and friends that knew the deceased enough to recognize his or her handwriting. Bear in mind that forms you can get online or in will packets that were filled in my the deceased will not be considered valid unless it contains witnesses signatures. Once you have proven the handwriting is that of the deceased in question, you will need to take another step towards proving its validity.
Proving The True Intent Of A Deceased Loved One
When you have a holographic will without witnesses that heard the deceased person talking about it, you may not be able to fulfill the wishes in that will. Some people might argue that the deceased was dawdling and jotting down ideas about a future will. Others may say the deceased person was not in their right mind when he or she wrote it. One way to validate the deceased person's intent in a holographic will is by the language used to write it. For example, if the will starts out with official language usually used in wills, like ' I, so and so, being in sound mind and body, do hereby bequeath the following...', you more than likely have a will written with true intent. However, if a will starts out with a list of property with people's names beside it, you most likely have a document that was used to think of information for a more formal, legal will.
If you are dealing the estate of a deceased loved one and all you have as a guide for his or her final wishes is a holographic will, you may need the professional assistance of a probate lawyer like Patricia K Wood Atty. When you have questions or concerns about your loved one's holographic will, your lawyer can help you find the answers.