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The potential problems with homemade wills

At the Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez, P.L., we understand that you have a busy schedule, and you want to save time as well as money. Like many other Floridians, you tackle many issues on your own, and you are considering writing your own will. However, it is imperative to understand that many things can go wrong if you handwrite your own will.

According to FindLaw, a handwritten will is known as a holographic will. Holographic wills are legally recognized in many states, provided the testator (maker of the will) meets numerous requirements. The conditions you would need to meet include the following:

  • You must be a legal adult or legally emancipated, if a minor.
  • You must be mentally competent.
  • There must be evidence that you wrote the will of your own accord and you were not unduly influenced by another.
  • At least two witnesses watched you sign the will and signed it themselves.

No problem, you might think. However, you might reconsider after you learn that holographic wills are easily challenged. A relative might protest your handwritten will and claim it was a fraud or that another family member coerced you into writing it. This could be especially true if your will wasn't dated or your signature or writing had changed since you wrote the will, which could lend credibility to a claim that you were the victim of undue influence or weren't mentally sound when you wrote it.

Writing a will should not be overly complicated or costly, even when you do it through legal avenues. Our page on estate planning explains more about your options.

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