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Are Holographic Wills Enforceable in Orange County, California?

A “Holographic” will is a will and testament that is handwritten and signed by the testator. Yes, a Holographic will is valid in Orange County, California and all counties in California.

However, they must meet certain requirements.

A Holographic will must be handwritten and signed by the person making the will, called the “testator.” The testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. The Holographic will is deemed valid if the distribution provisions of the will are written in the testator’s handwriting and signed. The Holographic will does not need to be notarized and does not require witnesses.

If the Holographic will is written in the testator’s own handwriting, is legible and is signed by the testator it is a valid will in California. Although, in California, it need not be dated it is extremely important to do so. In probate, the California probate court must be able to determine when the will was executed. For that reason alone, in creating a Holographic will, it is important for the testator to include the date of execution in the document. Only the most recent will is the one that is typically considered legally valid.

Just like any other will, the terms included in a Holographic must be specific to allow the probate court to properly distribute the assets described in the Holographic will. Any assets not mentioned in the Holographic will distribution provisions will likely be distributed pursuant to the laws of intestate succession in California.

If you are the executor or other nominated person in a deceased’s Holographic will and you wish to gain more information please contact me for a free consultation at (949) 243-0408 or through my online contact form. I will spend time with you to answer your questions.

From my office in Southern California, I represent families in all California counties, including Southern California Counties such as Imperial County, Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County. I also represent parties residing outside of California that have probate matters affecting real and/or personal property in California.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general information. The content of this publication is for informational purposes only. Neither this publication nor its author is rendering legal or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters. No attorney-client relationship is created by this advisory, nor by any response to the information herein, unless and until a conflicts review has been conducted by William K. Sweeney, and a written agreement containing all terms of representation has been signed.

Copyright © 2018, William K. Sweeney, Attorney at Law. All rights reserved.

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Bill Sweeney and his incomparable paralegal Jennifer Fejzic represented and advised me through the probate of a parent's estate. Having practiced law myself for over 30 years, I expected expertise, precision, and wisdom -- all of which Bill and Jennifer richly delivered, promptly and at a reasonable, indeed more than fair, fee. I recommend Bill and Jennifer with gratitude and confidence. Greg