What is a Holographic Will?

Finding a professional probate attorney to help you create and review your will is a great way to set up your loved ones for a more comfortable future. You can name inheritors, express your final wishes after you pass away, and more, all through an official will. But what if you haven’t had the time to visit a probate lawyer yet? Is there another way you can make a will?

California State law permits you to create a holographic will, or one that is handwritten and done without any official witnesses present. This process can be as simple as it sounds. You just need to write down your wishes, inheritors, and anything else you would put into an official will and sign it. Just like that, you have created a holographic will. Sounds pretty easy and beneficial, right?

The Downside of Holographic Wills

Virtually every will ever created has to go through probate. If a will is drafted professionally and has clear instructions, it is more likely to pass through probate court quickly and without a hitch. Since a holographic will has no witnesses present and probably didn’t follow any standard format, probate court can pick it apart quite easily.

Wills must be made by someone who is aware of what they are doing, and aware of the consequences the will implies. Someone you do not name in your holographic will could contest that you made it without sound conscience, or that another person wrongfully influenced you to keep them out of the inheritance. Even though the accusations are entirely inaccurate, there is nothing to say otherwise, and thus the will is tangled up in probate. Depending on the complication, it could be months or even years before your inheritors get to enjoy what you passed along.

In the end, holographic wills may be permitted in California State but they are certainly not encouraged. To avoid trouble, for both yourself and your loved ones, it is always the safer move to make an official will with a professional. You can contact our Los Angeles probate lawyers from Mansell & Mansell, APC to get started. Free consultations are also available – just dial 888.268.0471 today.

Categories: Probate, Wills, FAQ