Elder Law & Estate Planning Blog

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We help you plan and prepare for life’s curveballs while providing peace of mind for a lifetime. 

Paul Hamilton, Esq.

Founder of Hamilton Trust, Estate & Elder Law, Paul is a lifelong learner dedicated to simplifying estate planning and elder law through education, helping families navigate life’s unpredictable changes with peace of mind.

What is a Holographic Will and is it legal?

Most people don’t like to think about creating a will. However, waiting until the last minute can result in not having any end-of-life security. Even worse, it could force you to try cutting corners and make you think you are prepared when you aren’t.

One such manner of cutting corners is not using an attorney. Generally, when you write your own will, this is called a “holographic” will. Unfortunately, many states don’t recognize these types of wills and will most likely deny any wishes that are listed within. Instead, the court will follow the laws of the state regarding how your estate will be divided up. That’s why it’s essential to clear up the misunderstanding surrounding this type of will.

What complications might arise from a Holographic Will? Since the holographic will is generally not witnessed or notarized, the states do not want to take the risk of following it. This opens the door for fake wills to be admitted to probate to benefit certain beneficiaries and cause fraud on the court.

Although initially it seems like a much simpler way of making a will, especially when it is needed quickly, it comes with many complications. In states where the family can try to admit the will into the court, the judge may have difficulty reading the handwriting of the person who wrote it. In addition, the court may need to bring in witnesses who can testify that they knew the individual who wrote the will and that they can verify the writing belonged to that person. There is also usually no one that can attest to the individual’s mental state or intent when the will was written which allows these wills to be easily challenged by other potential beneficiaries.

How do you create a valid Will? When it comes to creating a will, you can save yourself and your loved ones a lot of confusion and time by working with an experienced estate planning attorney. Not only can they ensure that your documents are prepared correctly, but they can also make sure they follow state guidelines and meet your specific needs and desires.

Contact Hamilton Trust, Estate, & Elder Law today at 229-207-0850 for our FREE workshop so we can get started securing your and your family’s future.
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Whether you need to create or update your estate plan, prepare for long-term care, qualify for Medicaid to pay for a nursing home, or help settling a loved one’s estate, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us or attend one of our free workshops and take the first step toward securing your future and the well-being of your family.

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