holographic will

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holographic will

n. a will entirely handwritten, dated and signed by the testator (the person making the will), but not signed by required witnesses. Under those conditions it is valid in about half the states despite the lack of witnesses. A letter which has all the elements of a will can be a holographic will, as can a will scratched in the dust of an automobile hood of a person dying while lost in the desert. (See: will)

References in periodicals archive ?
An exception to the witnessing requirement appears in the twenty-seven states that allow holographic wills in lieu of executed ones.
These different forms of wills were not independent of social factors: holographic wills clearly required the ability to write, which was not common in rural areas even several decades after the introduction of compulsory education in the 1770s.
Stay away from handwritten or holographic wills since courts often question their reliability.