Who Is The Best Probate Lawyer
A holographic will is a type of will that is handwritten by a person and state what they would want to be done with their assets after their passing. Not all states accept holographic wills, but some will accept them as long as they are valid and follow the code according to the Brandy Austin Law Firm. To have a valid holographic will this is what you need:
1. The Will must be in writing.
i. You cannot type a holographic will, it must be on a piece of paper with your handwriting.
2. The Will must be entirely in the Testator’s hand.
i. As said previously, it has to be in your handwriting, it cannot be partially yours and partially someone else’s.
3. The Will must be signed by the Testator.
i. If the will is not signed by the person who wrote it, it is considered invalid.
4. The Will must have Testamentary Disposition (specifically states who gets what).
i. The purpose of a will is basically “What goes to who after I’m dead” You must explicitly state who is inheriting what of your assets.
5. The Will must have Testamentary Nature (intent to make a gift at death which is irrevocable after death).
i. You must use certain language such as “I give” “I devise” etc., to show both
1. the testamentary disposition and
2. the testamentary nature and intent. Leaving out this language can lead to your holographic will being invalid.
With a holographic will, you do not need two witnesses like you do with a formal will but you should date it just to give more evidence of its truthfulness.
However, as tempting as this sounds, it is not the best way to make sure your assets are secure and distributed properly. Handwriting a will can leave more reason for more of your family members to contest since it could be argued that this is not a proper document. Then the probate process can lead to long delays in administering the estate and strain relationships within the family. Also, not many people know how to make a valid holographic will which can lead to
making mistakes that the court will notice and not accept the will. If the court does not accept it, the testator’s asset will transfer according to Texas Intestate Succession Law. This means that it will divide up the assets based on a hierarchy of family members like the first person in line to inherit is the testator’s spouse, then children, then parents, and so on. This can lead to the risk that someone that you didn’t want to have some of your inheritance will get it. If you leave unclear language within your handwritten will, the court will have to assume what you meant which can lead to, once again, your assets being distributed in a way you never wanted them to. In a case of an emergency, a holographic will would not be the worst decision however, if you can it is recommended that people get a formal will before an event occurs.
Although going through an estate planning process can be expensive and take a little longer, the end result is more certain. It could cost your estate more, in the long run, going the holographic route. If the goal is to make sure your family is taken care of, avoid a holographic will. A formal will is more of an iron-clad during the probate process. Contact an estate planning lawyer near you to get started today by searching something like who is the best probate lawyer online for more information.