A "Holographic" Will is ALWAYS invalid in Florida, unless it is properly executed

A "Holographic" Will is ALWAYS invalid in Florida, unless it is properly executed

 

One thing that makes our country both great and frustrating is that for certain types of law, there are often different, incompatible, conflicting laws that vary by state. On occasion, various committees are formed to draft "Uniform" Codes, but it is still up to the individual state legislatures as to whether or not they should be adopted, and what changes are to be made before they are.

One such area of law in which there are a wide variety of rules is the probate law.

I was reading an article on the Wealth Law Blog, the blog of Samuels, Yoelin, Kantor, Seymour & Spinrd LLP in Portland, Oregon. In an article titled, "Don't Write Off Holographic Wills," the author, Victoria Blachy writes that under certain circumstances, a handwritten will may still be valid, because of certain backdoor rules. She write "many states (let's label it "State A") recognize that a will executed in a foreign state ("State B"), pursuant to the laws of State B when executed, can also be valid in State A. For example, see ORS 112.255(1)(c) and RCW 11.12.020. This can come into play when you are dealing with states that recognize holographic (handwritten) wills, like California, and states that do not recognize such wills, such as Oregon and Washington."

I am not licensed to practice law in either California or Oregon, so I'll be talking about Florida law. But first, I think we need to define what exactly a "holographic" will is, as it sounds like something that Mr. Spock would enter into the Enterprise's log before being killed fixing the warp core. A holographic will is a will that is entirely in the Testator's handwriting and signed by the Testator. No typing, no writing.

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David Shulman is an attorney located in South Florida who focuses his practice on Wills, Trusts and Estates, and Tax Planning. He attended George Washington University Law School and Brandeis University, both of which he graduated with honors. In addition David received his LLM in Estate Planning from the University of Miami Law School. Prior to starting his own practice, David worked for the Internal Revenue Service and a large South Florida law firm.