Is a handwritten Will that is 30 years old still valid?

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Is a handwritten Will that is 30 years old still valid?

It has 3-4 witness signatures on it.

Asked on July 10, 2014 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

First of all, Wills don't expire, so the age of the Will is not relevant. That is except to the extent that certain of its terms can no longer be carried (e.g. a house that was left to a beneficiary has since been sold) or are no longer neceassary (e.g. a guardian was named for a minor child but that child is now an adult), etc. In such a case, as with any Will, it will be administered out as appropriate.

As for the Will being handwritten, most states do not recognize these Wills. That having been said, NC does recognize such a document as legally binding. A "holographic Will" is handwritten (i.e. not typed) and must be entirely in the testator’s (deceased's) handwriting. Additionally, these Wills are valid without witnesses but the testator must have signed it.

For more information specific to your situation, you should contact a local probate attorney.


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