Holographic Wills (Handwritten Wills)

According to A.R.S. 14-2502 and A.R.S. 14-2503 in the state of Arizona, a handwritten will also known as a ‘holographic will’ is valid as long as it is signed by the testator and the material provisions are in the testator’s handwriting.  Material provisions are those that name beneficiaries and their gifts.  The writing must indicate that the testator intends and wants to dispose of his or her property in the writing.  A holographic will may be witnessed, but does not have to be.

Obviously the best witness to such a will is a disinterested party, a person who will not receive anything under the will.  The witness also must generally be considered to be competent under A.R.S. 14-2505.

Self-Proved Wills

According to A.R.S.14-2504, Arizona allows for wills to be “self-proved” meaning that if the will is self-proved and filed with the Court and a party does not challenge it, it may be probated in an informal probate proceeding.  The will can be self-proven if the testator and witness confirm the authenticity of same in an affidavit in front of a notary, and the notary stamps the affidavit.

In spite of this statute, it is still much more prudent for a person to have a properly executed will.  It is common for people who try to draft and execute their own will to fail to include everything that is needed and thus to do only a partial and an incomplete job.  As a result, the will may fail altogether.  They may leave out important material provisions or use ambiguous language that invites protest from certain challenging parties which may result in the will being declared invalid.   The validity of holographic wills is frequently challenged.  It can be very time- consuming, emotionally stressful and expensive to hire an attorney to defend the will’s validity in the event there is a will contest.

Contact Us Today

To learn more about holographic wills and receive a preliminary review of your situation and law pertaining to your own situation, call the Phoenix probate and trust litigation attorneys of The Law Offices of William D. Black at (602) 265-2600 or contact us online to schedule an initial free consultation.

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