Can you file a will with things scratched out?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can you file a will with things scratched out?

I have my fathers will that his wife filed in probate. There are some things on there that were not correct and supposedly my father scratched some things out in pen and initialed the ‘corrections’. Is the will still valid with those things done to it?

Asked on May 10, 2019 under Estate Planning, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

IF the changes were made BEFORE the will will was signed and witnessed, and the will with changes was properly signed and witnessed, it will be valid. IL recognizes fully handwritten (called "holographic," even though they have nothing to do with holograms) will if properly signed and witnessed, so a typed will with handwirtten changes that is properly signed and witnesses will also be valid.
However, not changes made after signing and witnessing will be valid. They will be ignored and the will as originally typed will be enforced.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption