I have a handwritten statement giving me her estate folr years of service. Is it a legal document

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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I have a handwritten statement giving me her estate folr years of service. Is it a legal document

My grandmother died several months ago. She did have a Will leaving her estate to her 4 children. I have been living alone with her 24-7 in the house for 6 plus years. She has hand written a statement giving me the house and its belongings to me. The family knowing this and has never said anything against this. Now my aunt the oldest has file a case, tomorrow 9 am trying to force me out. She has POA, and denies my rights. Also, she first took me to small claims court stating I would not leave and that I owe back rent, she was told to go to probate.

Asked on November 7, 2017 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A handwritten statement, unless it was witnssed and signed as a will should be (in your state--and most states--that means your grandmother must have signed in front of two witnesses, each of whom then signed in front of the other), has no legal effect whatsoever. Only a properly signed and witnesssd will controls what happens to assets or property after death--no other writing or expression of intent matters. Your grandmother could have put you into her will, and should have; since she did not, her handwritten statement is powerless, the property goes to her children, and they can remove you, since you have no right to be there now that your grandmother has passed.

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