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Making Your Own Will

Authored By: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. LSC Funded
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A will written completely in your own handwriting is called a 'holographic' will. You do not need an attorney to make this type of will. If you are 18 years old and of sound mind, you can dispose of real and personal property through a 'holographic' will.

YOU MUST FOLLOW THESE RULES (or a judge may not follow your requests):

1. Write every word in the will in your own handwriting. No one else can write a holographic will for you. Papers with even one typewritten or computer-printed word are not holographic wills.

2. Be sure to state whether or not you have children.  If you do have children, write each of their names, even if you are not leaving anything to one or more of them.

3. 'Revoke' or write a sentence clearly stating this new handwritten will is how you want your property to be settled after your death. For example, write something like this:
"This will is my last will and testament. It is my intent to dispose of all my property through this will. I revoke any previous wills that I have written."

4. Make an entire document. Number every page in your will. Put all the pages together in order. A staple or a paper clip is not enough! Someone reading the will should know the pages go together. For example, if your will is 8 (eight) pages long, write "page 1 of 8" on the bottom of the first page, write "page 2 of 8" on the second page, and so on until you get to page 8 of the 8 pages.

5. Sign your name at the veryend of the will. Write the date above your signatureon at the end of your holographic will. There should be nothing written or marked after your signature.

6. Do not have any witnesses sign your holographic will.

7. Do not notarize your holographic will.

8. Make several copies of your holographic will. Do not sign the copies. Write notes telling the place you keep the original holographic will. Write a note on each of the copies stating where the original signed will is kept. When it is time to probate your estate, the judge needs the original holographic will.

9. File your original will in the Probate Division of your county courthouse or store your holographic will in a safe and fireproof place. Putting your will into a safe deposit box may keep your will from being honored if you are the only person who can get in to that box. It might be better to file the original will in the Probate Division of your county courthouse. The court clerk will file your will for "safekeeping" for free or very low cost.

10. Make sure your personal representative is someone you trust. The personal representative distributes your belongings and property as arranged in your will. Tell your personal representative where you put your will.


Example of a Holographic Will


Last Will and Testament

I, Jane Doe, state that this is my last will and testament.  I revoke any earlier wills.  I give all of my property through this will.

I am not married.  I have two children, John Doe of Muskogee and Jim Doe of Pryor.  I appoint my sister, Sarah Smith, to be my personal representative.  If she cannot serve then I appoint my oldest son, John Doe.

I give all of my jewelry to my granddaughter Mary Doe.  I give all of the rest of my property, real and personal, which I own at my death to my sons John Doe and Jim Doe, share and share alike.
Dated April 20, 2012                                                                                         Page 1 of 1
Jane Doe


Last Review and Update: Feb 22, 2013
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