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The Pros & Cons of a Holographic Will

Some states, such as California, consider a holographic will to be a legal will. A holographic will is a will that you create and sign, without any witnesses present, including a notary. There are some pros to creating a holographic will, but there are some downsides as well. Taking the time to learn the pros and cons will help you determine if a holographic will or a traditional notarized will is better for you. Here are a couple of those pros and cons. 

The Pros of a Holographic Will

They're Cheap: One of the benefits associated with a holographic will is that it is cheap. You are not paying a professional, such as a lawyer or paralegal, to draw up the will for you. Nor are you paying a notary to witness your signature. If money is tight and you want to put together a simple will, this may be perfect. 

They're Easy to Make: The other advantage to a holographic will is that it is easy to make. These days, most people who make holographic wills either write them on a piece of paper themselves or hop online and print out a generic will form. This makes it easy to itemize the items you wish to give away or distribute after your death. 

The Cons of a Holographic Will

They're Easily Contested: The biggest drawback to a holographic will is that these types of wills are easily contested. Since there are no witnesses, it is easy for one party to question your state of mind when the will was drafted or to claim you were coerced or influenced to write the will to benefit another party. If you suspect anyone may try to contest your will, a holographic will is not the best choice for you. 

It's Easy to Make Mistakes: The other disadvantage to a holographic will is that it is easy to make mistakes. People often leave important items out of the will or do the math wrong and over or underestimate who gets what. Unfortunately, in these cases, it is up to probate administration to determine who gets what. When you hire a lawyer to draft the will, they work to ensure nothing is forgotten and there are no mistakes made. 

A holographic will is a great option if you do not have a lot of assets, only have one or two heirs or need to draw up a new will quickly and can't get in to see a probate attorney. These types of wills are often picked apart in court and easily contested though. As such, if you have a complicated estate or think someone may try to contest the will, having a probate attorney draw up the will, having it notarized and having your signature witnessed by two parties helps to ensure the will makes it through probate administration and your wishes are followed. Learn more by visiting resources like