Is a notarized letter equivalent to a Will?

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Is a notarized letter equivalent to a Will?

My Dad passed away without a Will, however I found a notarized letter stating his wishes for his property.

Asked on July 13, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under CA law, a person can make a Will in several ways, one of which is called a "holographic Will". This Will is handwritten. It is valid so long as all of the material provisions of the Will are writtenin the hand of the testator (i.e. the person making the Will) and the Will is dated and signed by the testator. A handwritten Will need not follow the same formalities as a more formal Will, so it need to be witnessed. In fact it doesn't even need to be notarized. 


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