Why is a handwritten will a bad idea?

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Carl S. Goode |

The idea happens a lot in movies and TV shows. A character who seems to be on their deathbed or anticipates a dangerous situation pulls out a pen and paper and jots down a will.

While olographic, or handwritten, wills are valid in Louisana, trying to create a will at a moment’s notice will not give you and your loved ones the best possible result.

Here’s what you should know about handwritten wills and why you may want to consider a different approach.

Understanding the requirements

Depending on where you live, there are many rules for olographic (holographic in other states) wills. Louisana has a few rules for a valid handwritten will, including:

  • Entire will, date and signature in testators handwriting
  • Two witnesses who can certify that it is the testator’s handwriting
  • Witnesses must be available by affidavit, interrogation or deposition to authenticate the will

When the estate goes through the probate process, the court will decide what type of testimony they require from the witnesses. Creating a handwritten will means risking forgetting an asset or missing one of the requirements that would make it a valid will.

Choosing a different option

Creating a complete estate plan can provide peace of mind for you and your family. When you make a will and other estate planning documents in advance, you can talk to your loved ones about your plans and what they can expect from the probate process.

Also, when you take the time to craft a comprehensive estate plan, you do not have to worry about missing assets. The process of creating an estate plan often involves a few different drafts to ensure that you include all of your assets.

You may also want to consider additional documents in your estate plan, such as a trust or power of attorney. When you talk to a skilled professional, they can help you evaluate your goals for your estate and how you can support your loved ones after you pass away.

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