Q: Is a completely handwritten will that is witnessed and notarized without a lawyer, still a halographic will?
A: No, not because it is handwritten. That is style, not substantive. New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law Sec. 3-2.1(b) addresses the informality of statutory execution, acknowledgement, attestation and notarization, which must be strictly fulfilled in their policy substance as recognized under New York law but not prohibiting handwriting instead of a typed document. What is called a "holographic" will is one that is handwritten and signed but does not meet all the attestation and verifying statutory requirements. It is usually done in haste or misunderstanding of the law. Handwriting the will does not make it automatically holographic and there is nothing prohibiting it. Not satisfying the pertinent jurisdiction's execution standards so the will can be submitted to probate makes it holographic if it is handwritten and signed but does not meet all the statutory requirements. Witnesses’ notarized attestation is very significant, but admissible without it in certain special circumstances -- e.g. military in war – when a handwritten and signed will is recognized. If the court can understand the will as handwritten and it otherwise satisfies EPTL 3-2.1(a) requirements, it should be admissible into probate in a New York Surrogate's Court.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.