Is a notarized Will legal?

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Is a notarized Will legal?

A woman with cancer has asked if her handwritten Will could be notarized and be legal without any witnesses signatures.

Asked on May 6, 2017 under Estate Planning, Oregon

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Some states recognize "holographic" Wills, which are wills that are completely written in the deceased's own handwriting. These Wills do not have to meet the same requirements and other formalities that formal Wills must meet. Holographic Wills must be dated and signed by the deceased person, be legible and clearly state who should receive the deceased's assets. These Wills do not require witness signatures and need be notarized to be valid (in fact no Will need be notarized unless they contain self-proving affidavits). 

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Some states recognize "holographic" Wills, which are wills that are completely written in the deceased's own handwriting. These Wills do not have to meet the same requirements and other formalities that formal Wills must meet. Holographic Wills must be dated and signed by the deceased person, be legible and clearly state who should receive the deceased's assets. These Wills do not require witness signatures and need be notarized to be valid (in fact no Will need be notarized unless they contain self-proving affidavits). 

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A holographic will is one that is signed, dated, and completely in the handwriting of the testator. The testator is the person whose will it is.
A holographic will does not require any witnesses or notarization to be valid. It is a legally accepted will.


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