Wills, Trusts, and Estates

Holographic Will


A holographic will is a will handwritten and signed by the testator.

In a slight majority of states, holographic wills are permitted. (Mainly just not in the Midwest, plus some other areas you can see on the map (if it exists yet).)

Virginia was the first state in America to permit holographic wills and UPC § 2-502(b) allows them as well.

About one-third of states the states permitting holographic wills require that the whole will be handwritten, including Virginia. The remaining states only require that the "material provisions" be handwritten and therefor allow for, say, filling in a form will by hand. These states are split roughly 50/50 on whether to allow extrinsic evidence in the establishment of testamentary intent. UPC § 2-502(b) does allow extrinsic evidence.

Almost all states allow the testator to sign anywhere on the will.