Is a dictated handwritten emergency Will valid with one witness and notarized?

UPDATED: Aug 15, 2012

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Is a dictated handwritten emergency Will valid with one witness and notarized?

Deceased verbally told his wife to write the will for him in front of the chaplain (witness) and the notary. He was in ICU but alert and oriented to the situation, The Power Of Attorney and Medical Directives were done in the same manner at the same time. He survived this acute episode of his chronic disease and lived another year without altering the Will. Is this Will valid and even worth probating?

Asked on August 15, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney in Texas to be sure but I would say that the Will is probably not valid.  A handwritten , or holographic Will, must be written wholly in the hand of the testator to be valid in the state of Texas.  And even though I can see an argument that it might instead be an oral or nuncupative will as it was spoken to his Wife and Chaplain, those instances are limited to war time and death bed utterancees.  Since he survived it would not be valid.  

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