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Will a holographic will stand up in court?

When you think of the word holographic, you might be imagining some baseball cards or playing cards that use light diffraction to create an image that looks three dimensional. When you hear "holographic will," you might think that this is some new, space-age will.

The truth is that a holographic will has nothing to do with the 3D images that people like making with typical holography. A holographic will is simply a will that has been handwritten from start to finish. It is also hand-signed by the testator.

A holographic will can be an alternative to a will created by an attorney, but it's not always a good idea to have one without an attorney's handiwork creating one legally on paper. Why? Not all states recognize them, and they could be easier to contest.

To use a holographic will, there has to be proof that it was created by the testator

One of the major problems with a holographic will is the need for evidence that the testator wrote it. There are some ways that you can prove that they wrote it, such as:

  • Having witnesses who signed the will testify that the testator wrote it in their presence
  • Having videos or photos of the individual working on the will
  • Having a legal document that confirms the legality of the will, such as one drawn up by an attorney and witnesses

It can be hard to prove that a holographic will is legitimate, but they are accepted, at least to some degree, in Tennessee. If you have a holographic will, you may want to consider having a will drawn up by an attorney to make things simpler for your family following your death.

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