Handwritten Wills: The Legal Details

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Called an olographic testament, here is what you need to know about a handwritten will in Louisiana:

It must be entirely written, dated, and signed in the handwriting of the testator. Issues arise with handwritten wills when people use fill-in-the-blank forms that are partially typed and partially handwritten. In that case, a court will look to the handwritten portion of the document to determine whether it meets the requirements of an olographic testament.
Also, do not forget the date! The day, month, and year can appear anywhere in the will. If the date is unclear, the court may look at other evidence to determine the date.

Finally, give it a signature. Although the testator must sign his or her name at the end of the document, anything written below the signature will not necessarily invalidate the will. (The court may or may not consider this other language to be part of the will.)

Cut out the middle man. Unlike a notarial will, an olographic will does not need to be witnessed or notarized to be valid in Louisiana, according to Louisiana Civil Code 1575.