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Is a Handwritten Will Legal?

A handwritten will is also called a holographic will. Handwritten wills are legal in Colorado but there are a few requirements:

  • It must be completely handwritten
  • It cannot be typed; any typed portions can make the statutes on holographic wills not apply
  • It must clearly indicate how you want your property and material possessions distributed (and to whom)
  • It must be signed by the person that wrote it (the testator)
  • Witnesses are not necessary in the state of Colorado
  • It does not need to be notarized in the state of Colorado
  • It does not need to be dated in the state of Colorado

While it is not typically advised to write a holographic will, there are some instances when this is the only way to express your wishes. For example, if you are in a life-threatening situation that you do not expect to survive, you may jot down your wishes on a piece of paper that can be later found. Because a holographic will can be easily contested in the probate courts, this should only be a last resort type of document if you do not already have a legal will created.

Not all states view holographic wills as legal documents. Of course, in an emergency situation, you may not know if your state accepts them. Instead, it is highly recommended that you have a formal will or trust document prepared by a legal professional to ensure that you have taken all of the necessary steps to protect your estate and your family.

The Denver will lawyers at The Brown Law Firm, LLC can help you write a legal will in Colorado. They can also help families go through the probate process if you have discovered a holographic will written by a deceased loved one. Call (303) 339-3750 or send us a message online to learn more.