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Is a holographic will valid?

Is a holographic will valid?

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2020 | Wills And Trusts

A holographic will is one that you write out by hand rather than typing out and printing off. Most states recognize the validity of a holographic will, and New Jersey is one of them. However, holographic wills are rare, and estate planning professionals do not recommend them. According to NJ.com, a handwritten will is more susceptible to challenge and more difficult to admit to probate in the first place. 

The most important requirements for a holographic will are that you sign it and write out the material portion in your own handwriting. The part of the will that sets forth your wishes for the distribution of your assets is the material portion. There is also a law in New Jersey stating that two witnesses must sign the will verifying your signature. However, it is possible to dispense with this requirement and accept the will as valid, provided that material portion and the signature are in your own hand. 

One question that comes up when people ask about the validity of holographic wills is whether you can use a preprinted form and fill in the blanks. Preprinted forms do not always meet the requirement that the material portion appears written in your own hand. A preprinted form is not automatically invalid, but at the very least you should check to see that it meets the necessary requirements. 

You may find that it is better and safer to spend a relatively small amount of money to create a simple will with the help of an attorney rather than creating a holographic will and hoping that it will hold up after your death. 

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