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What is a holographic will?

You probably realize by now that having a legal will is important to ensure that when you die, those you leave behind honor your wishes. There are a couple of options for creating a will that will stand up legally in California. One of those options is a holographic will.

According to California Legislative Information, a holographic will is any will that meets certain requirements but falls short of meeting the specified requirements for a traditional will. Basically, this type of document is handwritten and signed by you. You must write it with the intent of using the document as your legal will. It should include your intentions, and you need to write it only when you have the mental capacity to enter into a legal agreement.

A traditional will requires the signatures of witnesses, but a holographic will does not. However, you should date the document when you sign it. If you fail to date it and you have a traditional will, the traditional one will be held up by the court as the valid document.

If you create a holographic will, make sure that you destroy any other wills you created previously. This is important if you want this document to stand up after your death. It may also help to keep it in a safe place where it is easily found. Make sure that you let others know about this will. At minimum, you should inform your attorney or the person in charge of your estate. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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