Tuesday, November 25, 2014

ON HANDWRITTEN WILLS

This month's New York State Bar Association's BAR JOURNAL starts off with an article on "From Tractor Fenders to iPhones - Holographic Wills"

The definition of holograph is not just limited to issues relating to holography or holograms. but also refers to a document written wholly in the handwriting of the person whose signature it bears. But with respect to handwritten wills in New York, this can only be valid in very limited circumstances:

"Lay people often mistakenly believe that unwitnessed holographic wills are valid, especially if they grew up in countries where such wills were common. To many, the notion of taking charge and writing out their wishes simply, in their own words and in their own handwriting, may be appealing and may even be romanticized. Indeed, as explained above, a strong argument can be made that unwitnessed holographic wills should be valid when a person is lost or stranded, alone, and has no other choice. However, New York has steadfastly maintained that (except for those in the military or mariners at sea) all of the strict formalities of due will execution must be followed under all circumstances, even with handwritten wills."

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