My dad recently passed away. I found a will in his drawer. Apparently he typed a will up on his computer and then signed it at the bottom. He then put the will in his drawer. Apparently no one ever knew about it until I went through his personal effects. Is my father's will valid and does it have to be submitted to the court?
Witnesses are not required for a "holographic will", which must be dated, signed and all in the deceased's handwriting. By typing the will it appears that it will not qualify as a holographic will, and without witnesses does not qualify under California are a "regular" will. Sorry to deliver bad news.
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Without examining it I can't give you definitive answer, but it doesn't sound like the document you described is a valid will. His signature was not witnessed by two disinterested witnesses, nor does the form of the document meet the requirements for a holographic will. If your father had more than $150,000 in assets, his estate must be admitted to probate.
I am not your attorney. Avvo and its users acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship is established by using avvo.com. Nothing published in this website constitutes actual legal advice. You should consult with an attorney of your choice who has experience in your inquired field of law. If you are in California and have questions about estate planning, I'd be happy to receive your call.
Under California law, a Will is valid if it signed by a testator and two witnesses.
Although the Will that you describe is not valid, it still should be submitted to court as evidence of your father's
No. The document is not a valid holographic or regular will.
However, it may be submitted to probate court and used to prove testamentary intent.
This will would not be valid as an attested will, since there are not witnesses, and if your state's statute requires holographic wills to be entirely in the testator's handwriting, this typewritten format would invalidate the instrument in that regard. According to the California attorneys responding to your question, it appears that this will would not satisfy statutory formalities for a holographic will. When in doubt, defer to their legal opinions since they practice in your state, and consult with local wills, estate planning, or probate counsel. Blessings to you and your family in your late father's memory.
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