Ruth-Ann E. Toups
Can I Hand Write a Will?
Handwritten wills, formally known as holographic wills, are valid in Texas. However, they can create more issues than they solve. Holographic wills require many more steps to probate. More individuals must attend the hearing, more individuals must be notified, and more individuals’ consent is required to avoid the executor having to post bond and be under court supervision. Generally, the increased costs at probate make a hand written will much more expensive than a normal will.
Holographic wills are also more likely to be challenged. First, a holographic will does not have to be witnessed or notarized. Without these three disinterested parties present, it is easier to assert that someone either did not write a will themselves, was coerced to write a will, or did not have capacity to write a will. Second, a holographic will can open a Pandora’s box of handwriting analysis challenges.
While a holographic will can sometimes be better than no will at all it is certainly not the preferred method.