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Holographic Wills: What are they and are they a good option?

Know About Holographic Wills

In the grand scheme of estate planning for the distribution of your estate after you have passed, there are multiple methods one can use based on the breadth of their estate and the circumstances of how one wants a distribution to go. One such method available to individuals in Oklahoma is a holographic, or handwritten, will. According to Oklahoma statute, there are three requirements to ensure a handwritten will is valid in Oklahoma. (1) The will MUST be entirely handwritten in the hand of the Testator or Testatrix, the maker of the will, himself/herself. Because the whole will must be handwritten, one must make sure that there are no notaries or witnesses either because their handwriting would invalidate, or make void, the will. (2) The will must be dated at the bottom in the hand of the Testator or Testatrix. In this way, one can establish a timeline of the most recent estate planning document to determine which one will control. (3) The will must be signed at the bottom in the hand of the Testator or Testatrix, themselves.

While there are many considerations when drafting a will, the will should, at the bare minimum, state that it is your Last Will and Testament, name your spouse, your children, as well as anyone else you wish to pass your estate on to, name an individual to serve as your Personal Representative, or person in charge of distributing your estate and carrying out your wishes, and a backup Personal Representative in case your first choice declines to serve or is unable due to some unforeseen circumstance. When drafting one’s handwritten will, you should also include any real property you possess, with accurate legal descriptions if available, any provisions for personal items you wish to leave to someone specific, and intangible property, such as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds.

After you have drafted your will fully in your handwriting, while adhering to the requirements above, one must keep the handwritten will in a safe place where your loved ones can find it after your passing. You should also inform your choice for Personal Representative and backup Personal Representative where the will is located as well and your wishes so they can more fully carry them out.