Holographic Wills

A holographic will is created in the testator’s own handwriting. Although holographic wills are recognized in California, they create many problems in probate and often end up disputed by the beneficiaries, especially if the decedent made other wills prior to or after the holographic will was created. Before a holographic will can be probated, the handwriting must first be proven to be that of the testator. The executor must provide a sample of the testator’s handwriting or produce a witness who can swear that they saw the decedent write the will. Also, many people combine a partially typewritten will with handwritten notes. Then the court must determine which is the operative document and if it was properly executed. These are just some of the reasons why holographic wills often fail in probate.