A Holographic Will is a handwritten document which is verified and signed by the testator. A person who writes a Will is known as the testator. This signed document is different from a Will written by a lawyer. It is to note that Holographic Will is not used by all states. Yet, the states that permit it will need the document to fulfil particular requirements. It is also to note that notarization and registration is not mandatory for such Will.
What is the purpose of a Holographic Will?
In the 21st century, most people create their Will using an online template or an estate attorney. But there are still few people who find themselves in a situation they did not anticipate for eg- some people, especially during situations where their life is under threat —write their Will by hand because they usually don’t have the time or resources to create another.
To prevent illegal issues, most of the states need the signature of the Will that is signed by the testator. Although, the court will get to decide whether the Will is signed by the testator using his hand. Further, the problem arises if the authenticity of the Will is in doubt. Holographic Wills are not valid in all states and are subjected to each state’s laws.
Validity of a Holographic Will in India
A Holographic Will is valid if it fulfills the conditions of Section 59 of Indian Succession Act, i.e. the person making the Will is not a minor and is a person of sound mind.
Registration of Will is not mandatory in India according to Section 17 and Section 18(e) of the Registration Act, 1908. Yet, it is recommended to get the Will registered to avoid the disputes in the future regarding its validity originality, as it will be difficult to prove that the Will is valid when it is unregistered. So, it is not mandatory that a Holographic Will should be registered for it to be considered as valid but registration avoids disputes in relation to its validity or genuineness in future.
John Barnes was the captain of a boat on the Manchester Ship Canal, he wrote an ordinary Will in the year 1920 where he gave his second wife a portion of his estate and the remaining to his children from his previous marriage. If this had been John’s only Will, it would have gone uncontested. Yet, shortly after John passed away, his second wife found something rather unusual above the wardrobe in John’s bedroom. Interestingly, John’s wife found an eggshell above the wardrobe which said: “17-1925. Mag. Everything I possess. J. B.” John being a sailor, he was able to spend a portion of his time in the land. In addition, the words “Mag. Everything I possess,” was not sufficient to prove that John had written his entire estate to his wife
*Mag refers to his wife.
Another case is of Ajit Chandra Majumdar v. Akhil Chandra Majumdar , the Calcutta High Court held that a Will hand written by the testator and then signed by him is more credible in comparison to one that is either written by another person or if it is typed.
Do not wait for a life threatening scenario to take place so that you can write a Will. It’s important to make a Will long before you think you’ll ever need one — because a near-death experience goes to show without prior, life is unpredictable and none of us know when that will be.
Write your Will with us at Aasaanwill and protect your estate with us. AasaanWill. Zaroori Hai!