Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentLaw & Ethics · 1 decade ago

If I write out my will on simple paper to state my wishes is it a legal document or not?

Faced with possible death and no money of my own I need to know this.

25 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    You are taking a very courageous and difficult step, so don't rely on the opinions of a bunch of faceless people on the Internet for such a serious question.

    Contact the Legal Aide Society for your country/state.

    I pray your heirs won't need to argue over your Will for 80 years. My thoughts are with you. Don't give up.

  • 1 decade ago

    In most states, this can be fine. It needs no formal language, it needs no formal typing. It needs nothing special except:

    1. It must state a present intent that you intend to dispose of your estate as set forth in the document.

    2. You should recite that you are of sound mind and body and intend the document to be your last will and testament.

    3. It should be witnessed by two people, who sign twice. First, they sign with a statement that they saw you sign the document; second, they sign again with a statement saying that you are of sound mind, and expressed a "testamentary intent" when executing the document (That you knew you were signing a last will and testament.

    CAVEAT: this is not legal advice, and as always, you should consult an attorney licensed in your state. SOME states require THREE witnesses; SOME states also require that the document be notarized (or used to).

    So, if you want to be very very safe, you should consider taking the piece of paper and three friends (who are NOT BENEFICIARIES and NOT THE PROPOSED EXECUTOR OF YOUR ESTATE [you need them to be disinterested], trek down to the bank, and have all three sign it, and have the document notarized.

    Finally -- there are will kits available on the interent that will probably meet your needs, either free or at low cost ($20??) on line. There are also forms and books at your library. These are worth looking at.

    With regard to your children -- statements as to proposed guardians will be ... considered, but are not dispositive -- the court would consider the best interest of the children over your desires.

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In most states, it is indeed legal. What you are asking about is called a "holographic will." That doesn't mean that it's a hologram, but rater that it's handwritten. Most states that recognize them require that the *entire* will be in the testators (that's you) handwriting, and that it be signed at the very bottom of the will, with nothing written below the signature. Some states require that it be dated at the top. Some states require that it be witnessed by two people who are not related to the testator (you) and not named as beneficiaries of the will. A holographic will must also *clearly* state what the person intends to give and to whom.

    However, this question cannot be accurately answered, because it varies so much from state to state.

  • Indigo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I'm not sure how legal or valid it would be considered, but what you COULD try... type it up, print it out, sign it, and mail it to yourself. Maybe two just in case a second could be needed for some odd reason. Then when they come back do not open them, just put them in a safe place where a loved one will know where it is.

    At least in regard to being used as a "poor man's copyright" from an artistic point of view, supposedly the postmark that has a date could hold up in court as long as it's not opened unless in court by the right person. Perhaps it could be just as valid if used that way for you.

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  • If you write it entirely, in your own handwriting and sign it it is called a "holographic will". It is valid in many jurisdictions but by no means the best method. (It is easily challenged in court). If you are totally broke, you may want to go to your local legal aid office and see if they will assist you. If you don't have many assets you may be able to find an attorney to draw one up for as low as $100, depending where you are. I know often it can be difficult to even come up with $100, but if you have any children and want to be sure that they're provided for and that your wishes for custody are followed, it will be worth it.

  • 1 decade ago

    I'm not positive on this, but I have heard that as long as the document is in your own handwriting and signed by you, it could be a legally binding will. I think your best bet would be to write it, sign it, and have it notarized. It doesn't cost too much for a notary, and I believe you can find them in your local phone book. Best of luck to you.

  • 4 years ago

    You can let people know that you don't want her father to have custody but there is nothing you can do about it. He will have custody unless he is abusive or negligent. Perhaps you could sit down and discuss this issue with him like adults. For all you know he would be relieved to turn custody over to your parents. Sorry hon but you can't deprive your daughter of her father in the case of your death.

  • 1 decade ago

    Only one person came close to the right answer however, some states do not recognize a holographic (handwritten) will therefore, to give you a completely correct answer I would need to know the state in which you live.

  • 1 decade ago

    It would be legal if notarized and signed by witnesses, and to clear up any confusion, you can make a video of you reading your wishes, then there is no doubt it was from you. You can go to your bank, they will usually notarize for their own customers for free.

  • 1 decade ago

    i am so sorry to hear of your situation. first, god bless and keep you. secondly, it is better than nothing. for sure. the state would love to take what ever they can. SO, write it out very clearly. second, give it to a truely trusted friend or realative. thirdly, have them read it and let you know if they understand your wishes. fourth, you and that person need to go to a notery, together. explain that you both have read it, and you both can sign it in front of the notery. good luck, gods speed.

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