The Pros and Cons of a Holographic Will

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Thinking about the day of your demise and whom to bequeath whatever possessions you had in life can be a dark thought. However, your last will can be worth thinking about if you have valuable items or assets and would like specific people to inherit them. One type of will is the holographic will, which can be a good way of ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your demise.

What Is a Holographic Will?

A holographic will is one that is written and signed by the testator, with them being the person whose properties are to be distributed after they die. Apart from the handwriting, signature, and not being done under duress, the holographic will requires two adult witnesses who are not beneficiaries to sign the will to make it legal and binding.

However, in certain situations like the famous case of the “tractor fender will,” the presence of two witnesses might not be necessary for a holographic will to have the same legality as one with witnesses.

Should the legitimacy of a will made under the circumstances like these come into question, it’s best to consult a family law specialist.

The Pros

Here are some advantages of making a holographic will.

Low Cost

As the holographic will is written by the testator himself, there is no lawyer or solicitor present to pay. Middle and lower-income individuals can have a valid will as long as it’s written and signed by the testator and two adult witnesses.

Convenient

This type of will can be quickly and easily made with a pen and paper. If the testator is about to go into a situation where they know there’s a possibility they might not make it alive, such as undergoing risky surgery, they can quickly draft such a binding will without worrying about having witnesses available.

Personalization and Control

The holographic will can grant a greater sense of control for the testator since they write the will in a more personal tone with less legal jargon. Testators can feel more inclined to provide more details, such as their reasons for giving their property in a particular manner and to specific people.

The Cons

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On the other hand, a holographic will has some drawbacks to consider before using it.

Legal Validity

If the testator failed to provide two adult witnesses and their signatures at the time of its drafting, the will could quickly be deemed null and void. Only if in extreme circumstances where having two adult witnesses is impossible can the holographic will be considered legal and binding.

Invalid or Lacking Provisions

An ordinary person might include provisions in the will that might not be valid, or they can miss specific essential provisions in the proper dispensation of the property. With the lack of guidance from a solicitor, they could even fail to implement important requirements like the assignment of a legal guardian for any minor children the testator left behind.

Difficulty in Verification

The court can question the testator’s mental capacity and signature at the time of the drafting of the will. This might require several witnesses to verify, and it can take time. If the will were executed with the assistance and presence of a solicitor, there would be no question to the Testator’s capability and authenticity of his signature.

However convenient, expeditious, or cost-efficient a holographic will might be, it is better used as a “last resort” for creating a will, and it is impossible to procure two qualified witnesses and their signatures.

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