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Does a will have to be notarized in the State of Louisiana to be legal?

New Orleans, LA |

My mom passed away, but she did write/type out a will. It was NOT witnessed, but it is her handwriting.

I have a brother, and a sister, and I think you see where this is going.

Thank you.

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Attorney answers 4


Very state specfic quetion.

My state would require that it to be witnessed except for some very limited exceptions.

You will have to talk with local counsel to get a really good answer.

Robert E. Millsap III

Robert E. Millsap III


I should mention that witnessed in my state does not mean it had to be notarized as long as there is proper language.


Louisiana recognizes what is known as an Olographic will. That is one written by the person, signed and dated by them. It does not need to be witnessed. You need to take the document to a probate attorney for them to examine and determine if it qualifies.

Every situation is different and you should consult your own attorney to go over all the particular facts in your case. The answer given is only intended to provide general guidance regarding rights and responsibilities.



Thank you Lauren, I will do so.


You may wish to seek legal counsel to determine if her "will" is vaild/enforceable.
You state that "she did write/type out a will" It makes a big difference whether she hand wrote the will or typed it. A will typed on a type writer or one composed and printed with a personal computer, and only signed by the testator (person making the will) is not a valid will even if the signature is verified to be that of the testator.

Under Louisiana law, Civil Code Article 1575, an olographic will (hand written will) is one written, dated and signed in the handwriting of the testator (person making the will). Although the date may appear anywhere in the testament (will), the testator must sign the testament at the end of the testament. If anything is written by the testator after his signature, the testament shall not be invalid and such writing may be considered by the court, in its discretion, as part of the testament. The olographic testament is subject to no other requirement as to form. The date is sufficiently indicated if the day, month, and year are reasonably ascertainable from information in the testament, as clarified by extrinsic evidence (evidence from a source other than the will itself), if necessary.
Additions and deletions on the testament may be given effect only if made by the hand of the testator.

The answer to this question is for general purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


A written will if signed and dated and otherwise properly executed can be legal. A typed will must be notarized and meet other legal reguirements. See a probate attorney to determine if the will is proper.

This response does not creat an attorney client relationship. In all cases, I recommend you seek a paid consultation with an attorney with expertise in this area.

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