When my grandmother died she had written two days before that she was going to pay my debt. can I make a claime for the amount ? (I have an email from

UPDATED: May 13, 2009

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When my grandmother died she had written two days before that she was going to pay my debt. can I make a claime for the amount ? (I have an email from

Asked on May 13, 2009 under Estate Planning, Maine


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

Depends.  Did she have a will? A codicil? A trust? How did she make this promise to you in writing?> Was it witnessed? Did someone sign it? Did she sign it? Was it notarized? Was she of sound mind?

You need to consult with an estate planning attorney in your state to determine based on what you have whether it meets definitions that under Maine law it could be considered a valid testamentary gift to you.  Try www.attorneypages.com.  Also, read below.


§2-503. Holographic will

A will which does not comply with section 2-502 is valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator. [1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW).]


§2-502. Execution

Except as provided for holographic wills, writings within section 2-513, and wills within section 2-506, every will shall be in writing signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other person in the testator's presence and by his direction, and shall be signed by at least 2 persons each of whom witnessed either the signing or the testator's acknowledgment of the signature or of the will. [1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW).]


§2-513. Separate writing identifying bequest of tangible property

Whether or not the provisions relating to holographic wills apply, a will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money, evidences of indebtedness, documents of title, and securities, and property used in trade or business. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must either be in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by him and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator's death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator after its preparation; and it may be a writing which has no significance apart from its effect upon the dispositions made by the will. [1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW).]

1979, c. 540, §1 (NEW).

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.

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