What Is A Holographic Will?

Video Summary

What is a holographic will?

A holographic will is one that is written out by the person, or the testate of the person, that they're writing their own will. So, it's a handwritten will. And under Florida law, the holographic will – or a handwritten will by the testate or the person that's making out the will for themselves – must comply with Florida law, which requires that it be witnessed by two different witnesses who sign in the presence of the person that's writing out the will.

I hear from my clients, from time to time, where they've put off making out a will. They get ready to go on a trip – particularly if they're going to Europe or getting on an airplane ride – that they've written out something as to what they want done. They show it to me after they get back safe and sound, and then say, "Well, I did a will, myself." Well, that's not gonna be effective in Florida, because it doesn't have the two witnesses, or wasn't executed with the formality that's required under Florida law, which is the two witnesses.

So if it is witnessed and the witnesses were present when the testate or the person making out the will signed it, it's not effective. If they were there, it is effective. And then we've gotta try and decipher what you had to say, without any guidance of an attorney.

I believe that there are some states that give preference to holographic wills, and not require them to comply with the formalities of a typewritten will or a will prepared by a lawyer. But that is not the case in Florida.

So, if you have a holographic will, give me a call at 727-847-2288, and I'll set you up a will conference. Thank you.