What Are the Disadvantages of a Holographic Will?

Posted on: 24 June 2015

A holographic will is the last will and testament made by an individual in his or her own handwriting. While this kind of will is recognized in many jurisdictions, lawyers say that it is fraught with all sorts of disadvantages. This article discusses some of the disadvantages of this kind of will. Use this information to help you decide whether you should write a holographic will or write an attested one (a will drafted by a lawyer and witnessed by several people).

Difficulty in Locating It

Someone may feel freer to include many details in his or her will when drafting that will in the absence of another person. For instance, the individual may include detailed information regarding why he or she chose a certain executor and not another or why he or she divided the property in the way he or she did.

Because of such sensitive personal information, some individuals keep the location of the will secret hoping to reveal where it is as they approach their death (after a long illness, for example). When death occurs suddenly (such as during a motor accident) it becomes near impossible to locate the holographic will. This leaves the family with no option other than to let court determine how the estate of the deceased will be wound up. This may be done differently from the way you may have wanted.

Greater Expenses after Death

When you die and leave a holographic will, you put your family in the difficult position of having to incur the cost of hiring an estate lawyer to ensure that the will is authenticated and acted upon. This cost can escalate significantly if someone contests the will arguing that you were incompetent when you wrote it, or that some clauses were "smuggled" into the will since they contradict the wishes that you expressed while you were alive.

For instance, you may have revealed that a particular child will take over your business but the holographic will states otherwise. The legal costs of the resultant dispute can drain the finances of the family.

Lack of Some Provisions

You may not be aware of all the legal requirements that you should include when writing a will. For instance, you may forget to include who should be the guardian of your young children in case you pass on. In such a case, it will be left at the discretion of the court to choose a guardian for your kids and yet you may have had someone competent in mind.

In order to avoid all the complications above, hire a lawyer to draft your will so that your affairs will be settled in accordance with your wishes. There will be fewer disputes over your will if you ask a lawyer to draft it. This is because that attorney will have the necessary experience and legal expertise to include all important issues in that document.

To learn more, contact a company like Marino Law.