Despite it sounding like it belongs in a science fiction movie, a holographic will really can be considered low tech as one of its accepted definition is a "handwritten document for a last will and testament" but there's so much more to think about. Its name is realy a misnomer as the dictionary definition has it as produced using holograms, with the holograms dictionary definition being a three-dimensional image formed by the interference of light beams from a laser or other coherent light source. So to many of us, this is all rather space age for something that is in essence quite oridnary. So, before you put pen to paper, it's important to fully understand what a holographic will is and how it works and what makes it legally valid. In this article, we'll look at the validity, legal status, and features of these type of handwritten wills and the pros and cons of choosing this option. Be informed and make the best decision for your final wishes.
A holographic will is a handwritten document that serves as the final testament of the person who created it. Unlike other types of wills, holographic wills do not require witnesses or notarisation. Instead, they typically include the date of writing at the top, the will makerr's credentials, and a legible signature at the bottom. While these wills are not widely accepted, they may be considered in certain circumstances. Some people also create wills using an audio-visual format, but this type is usually declared legally invalid in court. The person who created the holographic Will could also record a video in which they read the will out aloud to prove their identity and that they have testamentary capacity and are of a sound state of mind.
Unlike most wills, which are formal documents, holographic wills are written by hand using ink and paper, and can thus be classified as handwritten wills. However, as of the last few years, there has also been a rise in printed holographic wills. These wills follow a standard format, including the date of writing, date of signing, the will maker's information, and signature. It's important to note that digital signatures may not be accepted when signing this type of will, as they may invalidate the document. To ensure the validity of a holographic will it should include a statement of the testator's sound state of mind. The will must specify the full names and details of the beneficiaries. The will must also list any assets or property the will maker is passing on to their loved ones, and of course the will maker must actaully own these assets.
There has been much debate over the validity of holographic wills, with supporters and detractors offering valid points from both sides.
Here, we have compiled a list of the most common arguments for and against such wills made to help you weigh up your options.
Holographic wills have a complicated history in the legal system, and their legality can change depending on where you live. To make a will such as this correctly, you need to know the legal status of this type of will in your area and whether it is legally binding. Holographic wills may be considered valid under specific circumstances, such as: When the will maker is close to death and does not have time to prepare a formal will. If no other will exists or if no witnesses are available while the entire will is being written. Individuals may sometimes create a handwritten will because they cannot afford a lawyer or the legal process to create an official will. No matter why you want to use a holographic will, you should be aware of its limitations and possible risks. Of course with all wills, undue influence, having mental capacity and being of sound mind when writing a new will needs to be taken into consideration.
In the United Kingdom, unwitnessed holographic wills written after 1 August 1995 are now invalid in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. In the UK there is a need for a will to be signed and witnessed correctly. In the UK you can handwrite your own Will. You can also legally use a blank form based DIY Will kit. It is perfectly legal to use this approach to prepare your own Will, in your own handwriting but in order to make the document a legal Last Will and Testament, it must be signed, and then have two witnesses who are not beneficiaries also sign the Will. There is no need to get a will notarised to recognise a holographic Will in England or Wales. Other countries may recognise holographic wills but it is worth pointing out that whether this is a valid will can be hard to prove in court because there are no witnesses or official records. If the person caring for the will maker is also an heir, the court may enquire about their role and whether the person making the will was unduly influenced and was of sound mind, and had testamentary capacity. If the court doesn't accept the validity of what is after all the last will and testament, the estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy. One final point to bear in mind relates to the Armed Forces so a holographic will is not valid if unwitnessed, unless it is counted as a privileged will. A privileged will is one that is made by an individual in active military service.
What invalidates a holographic will?
It may be invalidated if it is not entirely written in the testator's handwriting and signed by them. To ensure that their final wishes are carried out, the will maker must carefully follow the rules for making a valid holographic will.
How does a probate court approve and accept holographic wills? A will may be considered valid by the probate court if a witness can testify to its discovery location, and the location can be proven to be among the will maker's personal belongings. Alternatively, the will maker may leave the will with someone for safekeeping.
In the end, a holographic will is a document the will maker wrote or printed without having it notarised or having witnesses sign it. While this sort of will may have legal complications and is not recognised in all jurisdictions, it may be regarded as a viable alternative in certain circumstances, such as when the will maker is facing imminent death. But keep in mind that these sort of wills are not as reliable as other types and can be easily questioned.