Are holographic wills valid in California?
Yes, holographic wills are valid in California, and they have certain requirements. Holographic wills are wills that are handwritten and signed by the testator. In California, if the dispositive provisions of the will are written in the testator’s handwriting, and signed and dated by the testator who is at least 18 years old and of sound mind, then the will is valid. There is no requirement that the will be notarized or that witnesses be present and also sign the will.
Being of sound mind means that the person has sufficient mental capacity to be able to comprehend the nature of the testamentary act. The person must also be able to comprehend and remember the nature and condition of his or her property. In addition, the person should recall and comprehend his or her relationship to his or her descendants, spouse, parents and others who may benefit under the will.
Furthermore, the testator must not be afflicted with a mental disorder marked by such symptoms as delusions or hallucinations that could cause him or her to devise property in a way that he or she would not have done but for the presence of the delusions or hallucinations.
A holographic will may be admitted to probate if someone who knew the testator and has personal knowledge of the testator’s handwriting, can testify that the will was written by the testator.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I responsible for paying the rest of my deceased spouse’s bill?
- Are holographic wills valid in California?
- Do I have to leave assets to my children equally?
- Do I have to use a lawyer for the probate process?
- Does all property go through probate when a person dies?
- Does an executor or administrator receive compensation?
- Does the Court supervise the personal representative?
- How are taxes handled in probate?
- How can an estate plan avoid a conservatorship?
- How can I find out if there was a Will?
- How can I protect my children?
- How do creditors get paid?
- How long does probate take?
- How much does probate cost?
- How should I prepare to meet with my estate planning attorney?
- How will the debts of the decedent affect the beneficiaries?
- If I am named as executor in a Will, do I have to serve?
- If I establish a revocable living trust, will I lose control over my assets?
- If I serve as executor, will I get paid?
- If I transfer title to real property to my living trust, does the bank have the right to accelerate my mortgage?
- Is a will that was prepared in another state valid in California?
- Is it necessary to amend my will if I wish to bequeath certain assets to specific family members or friends?
- Is it possible to appoint a corporate trustee?
- Is my trust, which has title to my property, immune from lawsuits?
- Is probate necessary?
- Must I transfer all of my assets to my living trust?
- My child is married, and I don’t trust my child’s spouse. In the event they divorce, how can the inheritance be kept separate?
- Should estate planning documents be kept in a safe deposit box at a bank?
- Should I choose simplified probate procedures?
- Should I include a Medi-Cal planning section in my estate plan?
- What are disclaimer trusts and A-B trusts?
- What are the responsibilities of an executor or administrator?
- What does the Personal Representative do?
- What happens if the personal representative fails to perform his or her duty?
- What if someone dies and I have the Will in my possession?
- What if someone objects to the Will?
- What if the decedent owned land in more than one state?
- What if there is no Will or I cannot find a Will?
- What is a durable power of attorney?
- What is a pour-over will?
- What is a self-proving will?
- What is Probate?
- What is the best way to title pay-on-death bank accounts, retirement accounts and life insurance policies?
- What is the purpose of a life insurance trust?
- What would be the outcome if I became mentally disabled, and had no estate plan in place, or only had a will?
- When can a Will be contested?
- Who can and cannot be the personal representative?
- Who can contest a Will?