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Law Offices of Roshni T. Desai
Long-term Planning For Orange County
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What is a holographic will, and is it valid in CA?

You know that you need to address your estate planning, but you’re a busy person. You might feel like you don’t have time to talk to a professional about writing your will. Can you write your own will, and will the court honor it after you pass away? You and other Californians should understand the potential complications that could arise if you write your own will.

A handwritten will is called a holographic will. According to FindLaw, holographic wills are valid in many states, including California. However, there are some requirements to holographic wills which, if you don’t meet them, may render the document invalid. As you can guess, a probate dispute might arise.

For your holographic will to be effective, you would need to be mentally competent, and there should be no evidence that the document was written under duress. Additionally, the will would need to be in your own handwriting. This type of will might suit your purposes if you have very straightforward assets and uncomplicated final wishes. However, as you know, few people have estates that are this simple. The very fact that your will is handwritten may be sufficient for the beneficiaries to contest its validity. All it would take is for one person to dispute a will for the document to get tied up in probate – and this may lead to your wishes not being honored.

Like any head of the family, you want your loved ones to have harmony and peace after you are gone. Ensuring your estate planning is professional, concise and easy to understand is one way to achieve this. This information is not meant to serve as legal advice.

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