What is a Holographic Will?

Have you ever wondered if you could just write down your plans on paper and have your words serve as a will and testament? You should speak to an estate-planning attorney, rather than attempting to do this. Photo of couple speaking

A holographic will is a written document created by a person with directions about how to distribute property following his or her death, which is signed by the testator, generally without witnesses present.

Typically, these wills are created in emergencies, such as when a person is trapped or near death—think of someone who may be a soldier or first responder. Additionally, it is not uncommon for lower-income earners to write things down rather than enter into estate planning, in an attempt to avoid costs.

Each state has individual laws about recognizing holographic wills. Some states, such as New Jersey, recognize these types of wills, though witness testimony may be taken into account by a probate court. Other states, such as New York, only recognize holographic wills made by members of the military.

Really, the best thing you can do for yourself when it comes to estate planning is to work with an attorney. While you may have to pay fees to do this, it could save your loved ones money and time following your death.

How Can I Contact the Lawyers at KGG about a Will?

Our lawyers can help you determine which services and documents will best suit your situation. Remember, it is never too early or too late to begin addressing estate planning. Making sure that your loved ones are protected in the event of your death is important.

Our attorneys can help you with the following:

  • Estate tax minimization strategies
  • Advance health care directives, health care proxies and living wills
  • Irrevocable living trusts, including life insurance trusts, asset protection trusts and Medicaid trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Family limited partnerships
  • Guardianships and conservatorships

Our clients have been able to leave our offices satisfied, knowing that they have provided for their loved ones should they die. Let us assist you.

Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Estate Planning Attorneys


Leave a Reply