I recently found what looks like my grandmother’s Last Will and Testament in her own handwriting. Is this still valid?

I recently found what looks like my grandmother’s Last Will and Testament. It appears to be in her own handwriting. Can it still be valid if just written in cursive?


Answers (1)

Yes. What you found is legally referred to as a “holographic” Will, one written in the     individual’s own handwriting. In many ways, this type of Will is preferable to others since it is not too difficult to compare the handwriting in the Will to other writings of the testator (or person who made out the Will) to see if it’s valid.

Contact your grandmother’s lawyer, if she is no longer alive or able to communicate clearly, to see if any later versions of the Will were ever drafted. Also, ask other family members if they have been entrusted with a newer version or if anyone recalls your grandmother ever setting up any Trusts.

Consider taking the time right now to make out your own Last Will and Testament, particularly if any family members are dependent on you. Better yet, consult with a Wills and Estates attorney for advice on how to set up your Will or Trust. Be aware that it can often benefit you and your descendants to give (or “bequeath”) all of your belongings to them in the form of a Trust.

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