Handwritten Wills

Los Angeles Probate Attorneys

It is important for your peace of mind and the comfort of your family to have a will in place sooner than later. When formalities are not an option due to money or time, handwritten wills, sometimes called holographic wills, may be used as more or less a rough draft of a professional will. If you believe that a handwritten will is the right choice for you, our Los Angeles probate lawyers at Mansell & Mansell, APC can help you draft one with confidence. We are backed by nearly a century of combined experience and an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.


See what we can do for you today during a free, no-obligation initial consultation.


Benefits of a Handwritten Will

In the world of probate and legalities, everything has its purpose and benefit. Holographic wills are no exception and can be the correct solution for many people as they enter their golden years or after they come into a significant sum of money. Handwritten wills are permanent if never replaced but replaceable if future revisions are necessary. Due to this flexibility, it is often encouraged for you to make a handwritten will when you begin thinking about estate planning and will creation, just to introduce you to the concept.

Some of the benefits of using a handwritten will include:

  • Full functionality: There is nothing a professionally drafted will can do or say that a handwritten will cannot. When created properly, your handwritten will should cover important matters like property distribution, inheritance, what to do with your real estate, and more.
  • Time saver: If you know you need to create a will soon but just cannot find the time to meet up with two witnesses for the signing, a holographic will can be made as quickly as you can sit down and write it.
  • Inexpensive: How much does a pad of paper and a pen cost you? That is the upfront financial cost of a handwritten will.

Disadvantages of Holographic Wills

Handwritten wills certainly seem convenient, and they absolutely are, but they are not entirely beneficial. In probate, they are considered as “better than nothing” or a “last resort.” Even though a holographic will can be the final will you create, it is not meant to be due to its potential disadvantages.

Reasons you might not want to rely on a holographic or handwritten will include:

  • Validity: The probate process includes checking the will for validity to ensure that the right will, or even one created by the decedent, is being used. Since handwritten wills are usually drafted quickly and with no witnesses, there is really no hard evidence that it is legitimate and it could be questioned during probate.
  • Incompleteness: Probate, like all other forms of legalities and litigation, requires an in-depth knowledge of the surrounding laws to be fully effective. If you write your will yourself, you can inadvertently forget to include an important provision or mandate that is a staple for last wills and testaments.
  • Location: Handwritten wills can slow down probate even more not by virtue of what they are but by virtue of where they are kept. Most holographic wills are not stored in a safety deposit box or given in duplicate to attorneys or probate administrators, so it can become a problem just to locate it after the testator passes away.

Convenient Solutions, Professional Care

If you are thinking about making a will, either as a quick handwritten draft or one that you know can stand the test of time, allow our probate lawyers in Los Angeles to help you. We bring an honest effort to everything we do, providing reliable and understanding legal support and guidance to our clients. In the end, we hope to make everything easier for you and your loved ones as your years progress, and we believe we can achieve this goal by working together.

Contact our team by calling 323.208.3501.