Can a handwritten Will be disregarded if someone created a pour-over Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a handwritten Will be disregarded if someone created a pour-over Will?

Recently there was a death in the family and my grandmother’s sister wrote a Will, after her death at the Will reading their great niece had a pour-over Will read and that Will left everything to her and her husband and a very small percentage to my grandmother. When I say everything I mean everything down to her house and bank account which while my great aunt was alive she refused to allow her to add herself to. Are any of these actions legal?

Asked on July 2, 2012 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation as it stands.  Now, it seems that ther are many issues here.  First, are you sure that your grandmother wrote that first Will or signed it if it was typed?  Next, Virginia does indeed recognize a hand-written will (also known as a “holographic will”). But it must be written entirely in the testattor's - your grandmothers - own handwriting. And now upon her death, two witnesses would have to testify that the handwriting is indeed hers. It also has to abide by the laws in your state: it has to be signed and as the law states "No will shall be valid unless it be in writing and signed by the testator, or by some other person in his presence and by his direction, in such manner as to make it manifest that the name is intended as a signature; and moreover, unless it be wholly in the handwriting of the testator, the signature shall be made or the will acknowledged by him in the presence of at least two competent witnesses, present at the same time; and such witnesses shall subscribe the will in the presence of the testator, but no form of attestation shall be necessary. If the will be wholly in the handwriting of the testator that fact shall be proved by at least two disinterested witnesses."  Subsequesnt WIlls can revoke prior Wills and that is your argument here.  Please seek legal help.  The revocation wording could be crucial in many ways.  Good luck.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption