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What's a holographic will?

It sounds futuristic, like it would be a good thing, but a holographic will is not the kind of will that anybody wants. That's because challenging a holographic will is simple, and they are subject to being invalidated in court.

The term "holographic" when it's applied to wills means that no one was present to witness the signing of the document. In order for a will to be valid, a typed, hard-copy version of the will must be signed and dated by the testator while two adult witnesses are present. It's important that the witnesses are not heirs of the will.

A holographic will might be admissible in court in some circumstances. Even a handwritten, unwitnessed will could be accepted. For the will to be accepted, however, the court must fully believe that all of the will was written by the testator (the person who created and signed the will), and that the testator intended the document to serve as a will.

That said, if another potential heir chooses to challenge a holographic will, he or she has a good chance of success. This is why it is so important to draft and execute a will according to estate planning laws. If an error is made, it could render the will susceptible to being contested and invalidated in court.

Nobody wants a holographic will when they can go to a Tennessee estate planning lawyer and affordably create a valid will that's capable of resisting a challenge in court. If you have yet to draft a will for your estate, an attorney can help you understand how important it really is.

Source: FindLaw, "Reasons to Challenge a Will," accessed Nov. 16, 2017

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