As your health declines, you know you need to get your estate planning in order. You decide to write down who you want to get which assets and things of this nature. Essentially, you’re making a will, but you want to just write it out by hand, on your own schedule. You don’t really want to do anything more official than that.
What you’re wondering is if this type of will is actually going to stand up in court. It’s one thing to write down which heirs you want to get your assets, and your family might understand why you’ve made these decisions, but is a court going to count that as a legal will?
Your handwriting needs to be identified
This is known as a holographic will under the law, and Tennessee law does allow for these types of wills. You can write your own will by hand, and there does not have to be a witness at the time that you do so.
As you can imagine, however, this raises some concerns about fraudulent wills. What if an heir writes a fake will after you pass away and then claims it’s the real thing? To get around this, the law does require that two different witnesses examine your handwriting and prove that you really did write the will and that the signature really is your own.
All that being said, there are higher odds of an estate dispute if you have a handwritten will. You should take the time to look into all of your legal options. You may find that there are ways you can do this that will avoid potential disputes and delays for your family in the future.