A Brief Introduction About the Holographic Will
A holographic will is referred to as a legal document that is handwritten and signed by the testator. It serves as a valid alternative to the will that is provided by the concerned attorneys. While some states are not known to recognize & validate the holographic will, there are other states that provide permission to the holographic wills or documents that might meet certain requirements.
For most of the states, the minimum requirement for the validation of this kind of will is that it must be handwritten by some testator. There must also be provided by the valid proof that while writing the will or testament, the testator was in full mental capacity for writing the same. The intention is also expected to contain or state the wish of the testator who would like to distribute the respective personal property to the concerned beneficiaries.
Also regarded as a type of holographic document as per the hologram definition, this type of will is written by hands completely while being signed by the testator at the same time. Conventionally, the will was supposed to be signed by the existing witnesses who would attest to the overall validity of the intent as well as the signature of the testator.
However, in various jurisdictions, these wills that have not been given proper witness are regarded as equal to witnessed wills and would require only minimal fulfillment of specific requirements.
Who Takes the Holographic Will?
Now that you know what is a holographic will, you must know who are involved in the same. Typically, a holographic will sample is crafted as per the respective state regulations and is completely handwritten. The will is expected to be signed by at least two witnesses along with the testator.
While it is not regarded as the right choice, in some cases, the holographic wills are regarded as necessary options for those individuals who might be in a situation wherein creating the last will or typing the same might be a problem –like in the case of sailors at sea or soldiers at war.
Purpose of the Holographic Will
These types of wills –just like any other regular will, are known to specify or state that the given document is the last will of an individual. This can be regarded as a testament by simply labeling the same at the top of the will. Just like any other regular will, the testator to the given will is expected to be explicit while naming the receiver or beneficiaries of the respective assets or property –including real estate properties, fund accounts, bonds, and stocks.
In the given will, the testator might also regard detailing specific circumstances for the respective recipients to meet for receiving the assets that are named after them.
The holographic sample will are quite common. These are usually created in situations of emergencies. Some of the conditions could be that the testator is nearing death, trapped, or alone. Jurisdictions or states that usually do not permit the unwitnessed wills might have to grant exceptions to the members belonging to the armed forces being involved in wars or armed conflicts and also to the sailors at sea. However, in both cases, the overall validity of the will is known to expire after a certain time after the will has been created.
Contents of the Holographic Will
As the testator of the will would die, the process of probate –the process involving the validation as well as execution of the will would commence. For a holographic will to serve as a valid document, it is typically expected to be handwritten as well as duly signed by the testator (the individual responsible for creating the will) in the given full entirety.
The wills that are typed using the computer system are not considered as holographic wills. This type of will is also expected to contain the same information as that of the regular will. In case the testator is in a hurry to prepare the will as soon as possible, then some of the basics that must be included in the testament are:
- The intent to give or bequeath the property as well as assets to the respective beneficiaries.
- A beneficiary is an individual to whom you would like to entrust the responsibility of inheriting the property and other assets. At the same time, a beneficiary does not necessarily have to be an individual. It could be a charitable organization or a business, as well. Most testators are known to name the respective spouses as the beneficiary.
- The will is also expected to specify the declaration of who you are as an individual. The will should contain all the affirmations of the contents belonging to the will while stating that you have written the same with full senses.
- The signature of the testator.
These are the factors determining your query to what are the parameters of a holographic will.
How to Draft the Holographic Will?
If you are the testator, it is recommended to make sure that your will is created properly –just as you want it. While drafting the testament or the will, it is also expected for you to choose the right people for fulfilling specific roles like that of the beneficiary, the guardian, and the executor.
- The executor of the will is the individual you select for carrying out the last wishes as per the terms specified in the will. The executor serves as the personal representative who is responsible for making sure that every term in the given will is handled correctly and as you expect it after you pass away. The individual that you choose for this critical role should be someone whom you can trust completely.
- The beneficiary of the will is the individual or some organization (like your business or charity) you will be chosen for receiving the benefits of the will –specifically the given portion of the property and assets. In case you do not go with the option of selecting any beneficiary, the entire property, as well as assets, are known to be distributed amongst the members of the surviving family as per the respective laws of the state.
- A guardian is also required to be appointed by the testator while drafting the will. A guardian is given the responsibility of taking care of the pets or even minor children in some cases. You can consider setting aside some funds for the guardian in your will to assist the guardian in taking care of the respective dependents (if any).
There could be specific grounds for negotiating with the holographic will –especially when you are naming your spouse as the beneficiary of the will. It is important to note that negotiations concerning the last will or holographic testament can be fairly expensive. Therefore, you should consider consulting your concerned attorney for the same.
Benefits & Drawbacks of the Holographic Will
There are several benefits of preparing a holographic testament or will. Some important points are:
- Greater Control –Some people feel improved control of the entire process of the distribution of the property and assets amongst the beneficiaries with the help of a valid will. In case the distribution process needs to be more private, the testator can feel confident in specifying the intricate details of the distribution through the will.
- Cost-effective –As the will is written by the testator, there is no to the minimum cost involved in the overall preparation.
- Improved Convenience –With just a paper & a pen, the will can be prepared quickly.
Some of the points of the drawbacks of the wills could be:
- There are some states that do not recognize the validity of the holographic wills that are handwritten
- The beneficiaries might feel the lack of provisions in the given will format
- The will could pose difficulties for the respective witnesses
What Happens in Case of a Violation?
While ambiguity remains as one of the biggest problems associated with the preparation of the given will, there are indeed some hidden dangers of the will in case someone tries to violate the same. The failure of the testator to put someone in charge of the testament or the will can be a big-time nightmare. While preparing the will, the testator can also specify the grounds for violation and what should be done to resolve the same.
A holographic will allows the testaments handwritten by a testator to be recognized as a valid document. This document helps in determining the exact distribution of the property and respective assets of the testator(1) to the concerned beneficiaries of the same. In case some problems are encountered, professional help from a reliable attorney can also be considered.