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Old 03-28-2016, 05:20 PM
 
71,536 posts, read 71,712,424 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Even a holographic (written) will buried in a drawer has meaning in most Probate Courts. The intent of the Testator, the person who writes the will, is all that matters. The Court would rather have that than nothing and will use that as the last will and testament in some cases.

You don't have to have it notarized but it's a good idea. It gives it more weight. Don't bother with an attorney just go to a Notary Public if you don't have a complicated will with a lot of valuables and property to divide up amongst your heirs. You can find simple forms online. If it is legal in your state, you can even go to a paralegal run office to get forms. They can guide you but cannot give you legal advice.

Whatever you do, do not rely on verbal promises to people as to what you want them to have or how to direct your wishes. If you specifically want to exclude someone from any bequests, be sure to mention it in your will because otherwise they can contest it saying you "just forgot" to mention them. That's when they wind up with that antique silverware you did not want them to have.

I should tell you my experience comes from having a paralegal degree and working in a Probate Court as a clerk for a year. I saw a whole lot of misguided people who came to us with a lot of misconceptions. We were always happy to give accurate non specific advice. So when in doubt, take a trip to your local courthouse to get the real scoop.
quite a few states states will not accept a holographic will at all .

States That Do Not Allow Holographic Wills
Other states do not accept holographic wills in any form, even as a foreign will or for active military members. These states are Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.


as far as the intent ? that means little in probate court . we had an issue first hand where a trust and will ruled out some estranged grand children by name .

well it turns out the probate court found a line missing in the trust pertaining to predeceasing which is what happened in this case .

the judge told us the intent is clear , that these kids were to get nothing . but he cannot go back in to history and add missing verbiage or fix what is wrong . the trust and will have a defect and as such cannot be accept by the court .

the court notified the children there was a defect in their grand fathers will and trust , they got attorneys and the rest is history .

even though they were mentioned by name to not get a penny they ended up with a share and the intent could not have been any clearer .

Last edited by mathjak107; 03-28-2016 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,868 posts, read 14,371,350 times
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In Washington State you can draft your own handwritten will, and have it witnessed. I found that out by simply Googling it.

Why not Google your state's rules about wills, and see if there is a procedure you can follow to draft your own will?

Follow instructions closely, and make sure the will is not kept in a safe deposit box, but with a trusted friend. Or follow instructions you find online.

You probably can write a simple will for yourself, so figure out how to do this legally.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willow wind View Post
If you're a Veteran, yes, you are entitled to burial at a National cemetery but the procedure is a whole lot more involved than that and may include lots of extra costs to have it done.

https://www.funerals.org/frequently-...urial-benefits

Seriously everyone, as this topic of wills, burials comes up frequently please have your wishes and finances organized well beforehand.

As for someone's wishes written on a piece of paper in a file cabinet, that's totally he said/she said. Without witnesses and notarizing, not likely a court would recognize it.

If you don't have a lot of possessions, property or money for attorneys, there are plenty of sample wills online. Just print one, fill it out. Take it with you to places that have notaries on hand ---- a bank, town or city hall, a local senior center, etc. They will borrow a person or two to be a witness and notarize it.
Thank you for the link to VA burial information.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:30 PM
 
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we had a refinance stopped once on an inherited house . the title company asked to see the will .

the will read and to my child _____--name i leave my house and all possessions .

well the title company said the word only as in only child was missing .

so they stopped the closing , i had to pay the bank attorney and the title company for the day as well as lost our interest rate while we got affidavits from relatives my ex wife was an only child ..

i learned don't play around with this stuff . it can be a mine field with no do overs .

nothing is ever a problem until it is a problem was never truer then with wills and trusts .
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:32 PM
 
Location: Lake Grove
2,753 posts, read 1,974,694 times
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What is so difficult about consulting an attorney and having things put in the correct legal language, so that you may rest assured things will go the way you want it to? Do people really get paralyzed by the reality that they, like everyone else in the world, will actually, one day, GASP!, die? Does this terror really prevent them from sparing the people they love from a world of s**t for years on end? It's the height of stupidity.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:37 PM
 
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they are to cheap to do it right
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:37 PM
 
3,299 posts, read 1,872,323 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Whatever you do, do not rely on verbal promises to people as to what you want them to have or how to direct your wishes.
This. My dear old mom may have verbally promised her same good jewelry to each of her four granddaughters before she passed (if they're to be believed), but because she never updated her will from the 1950's there was a bit of discomfort over the matter after her passing.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:40 PM
 
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like everything else , folks like to try not to use pro's and save the money . but with things like this once an issue crops up down the road if you think the price of having your paperwork done by an estate attorney is expensive wait until you see what free can cost your heirs
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
1,473 posts, read 1,694,461 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen88 View Post
What is so difficult about consulting an attorney and having things put in the correct legal language, so that you may rest assured things will go the way you want it to? Do people really get paralyzed by the reality that they, like everyone else in the world, will actually, one day, GASP!, die? Does this terror really prevent them from sparing the people they love from a world of s**t for years on end? It's the height of stupidity.
Well everyone has a unique story, but one scenario perhaps people in their 30's & 40's who have begun to amass some wealth & property but haven't yet paused to write a will.

As for me, I loathe red tape, offices, people in suits, paperwork, rules, legal jargon. But this thread taught me that I live in a state that accepts holographic wills, so at the very least I will draft one of those ASAP.
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Old 03-28-2016, 06:32 PM
 
1,463 posts, read 1,346,323 times
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Default An unwritten will is just as good

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelpha View Post
Was talking with a friend last night and he mentioned his extended family has been quarreling over his father's estate since he unexpectedly died two years ago without leaving any will or directives whatsoever.

This got me wondering, Hypothetically, What if someone dies without a legal notarized will, but has written directives on paper kept in a file, could that be considered better than leaving no directive at all, and would the written directives be legally honored? (Assuming of course that the informal directives weren't plagiarized by an acquaintance of the deceased. Yes I realize that's why legal wills are strongly advised.)

Keeping it simple, I for one don't own anything of value whatsoever, so I told my friend that if he ever happens to be the only one close to me when I die, just donate my stuff to Goodwill and use my military DD-214 to get me a free burial/cremation/whatever.

Can informal directives be honored? Or does everyone need a will?

I suppose people with any estate and valuable items would be wise to update a legal will every year or so. But if they weren't prepared and died young & unexpectedly, but had verbally told a friend their directives or informally wrote it on paper, would it be better than nothing? Especially if the directives were realistic, and not favoring the messenger over anyone else?
as the paper it is written on
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