If a person died without a will, but they had tagged tangible personal property with the names of the people they wanted to have their stuff, can all of the tags be considered a holographic will?
The tags would need to be reviewed to see if they expressed testamentary intent, were entirely in handwriting of decedent and were signed by him. Assuming those hurdles were met, they would need to be filed for probate and a hearing held to know the end result. How do you know tags have not been re-arranged? You need to consult with a probate attorney who can look at situation and then advise you. I would not get your hopes up if you want tags to be a holographic Will.
If the intended beneficiaries of the tagged items ate also the individuals who inherit under a Will or intestacy, it would be practical to have the parties simply agree to didtribute in accordance the the wishes.
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I'm a NY attorney and can't advise you as to your state's laws, but I would be astonished if writing someone's name on a piece of paper attached to a piece of personal property would qualify as a holographic will. Beyond that, in many states, a holographic will is permitted under extremely limited circumstances. In NY, for example, it is allowed only by a soldier engaged in armed conflict or a mariner at sea.
Good luck to yo.
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Were the notes actually gifts made during the lifetime? Maybe it's not so important whether or not it could be considered as a will. Further, if all of the heirs are agreeable to the distribution, it may not be an issue anyway.
If you think the heirs do dispute the handwritten notes, it would be smart to at least visit with an attorney about the most straightforward and affordable approach to the distribution. It would be best to prevent a potential family dispute.
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Were the tags signed by the person? If not, it may be a problem just having a tag with someone's name on it...does that prove that the name of that person was to inherit the item the tag is on??
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