Wills, Trusts, and Estates, Pages 204–207

In re Estate of Gonzalez

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine, 2004

Facts:

Decedent filled out a will form by hand and signed the document but died suddenly shortly thereafter before he redid it neater and got any witnesses to sign it.

Procedural History:

Probate Court found that the will was a valid holographic will.

Issue:

Was decedent's will a valid will?

Plaintiff's Argument:

A material portion of the will—that decedent had testamentary intent—only appeared in the preprinted portion of the will.

Reasoning:

The will is not a valid attested will because no witnesses signed. To be valid then, it must be a holographic will. The UPC only requires that the "material provisions" be handwritten in a holographic will.

While decedent did not handwrite his testamentary intent, what he did write only makes sense in such a context. Thus, by filling in the form, he implicitly adopted and incorporated those material testamentary provisions into his will, making it valid.

Holding:

Yes, decedent's will was valid. Affirmed.


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