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Rye Miles #13621

Question on a will

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I'm reading Sycamore Row by Grisham and the dead guy has a handwritten will that supposedly cancels out his previous will which was filed at the registrars'  office years before.

 

Is this true? Can a handwritten will cancel out a previous will even if it was filed in at the courthouse?:o

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Depends.  Was the will witnessed?  Dead guy of sound mind at the time of the handwritten will?  I am sure it varies state to state, but at least here in TX a hand written will is a valid will. 

Edited by July Smith

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Holographic wills - written by the testator in his/her own hand, usually require no witnesses or other formalities.  If the will is otherwise valid under state law, it can operate to revoke prior wills, even those that follow traditional form and formalities.

 

LL

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See! Just one more reason that death is a bad thing...

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Depends on state laws-In general, a hand written/dated will can CXL earlier wills.

Best to go with a Trust.......

OLG

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In the book the dead guy mailed the handwritten will to a lawyer just before he committed suicide and told him to file it. The lawyer did that but now it’s a big fight over which will is valid. 

I just wondered if anyone ever ran into this.

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The latter will would be potentially invalid if the testator was not of sound mind at the time he wrote it.  Definitely would be ripe for contestation since he immediately thereafter committed suicide.  Lawyers would fight until the estate was depleted. . . . whoever has the last of the cash wins . . . :(

 

 

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5 minutes ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

The latter will would be potentially invalid if the testator was not of sound mind at the time he wrote it.  Definitely would be ripe for contestation since he immediately thereafter committed suicide.  Lawyers would fight until the estate was depleted. . . . whoever has the last of the cash wins . . . :(

 

 

Thus....

5 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

As I recall, the end of the book was something like we can argue about this in the courts for years and years, or we can work out a settlement.”

 

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3 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

The latter will would be potentially invalid if the testator was not of sound mind at the time he wrote it.  Definitely would be ripe for contestation since he immediately thereafter committed suicide.  Lawyers would fight until the estate was depleted. . . . whoever has the last of the cash wins . . . :(

 

 

That's why Grisham made this book 737 pages! I'm only 1/3 of the way through! Great story and John Grisham is a great writer!!

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10 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

See! Just one more reason that death is a bad thing...

If you figure a way around it....Let me know...

 

Texas Lizard

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11 hours ago, Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438 said:

Holographic wills - written by the testator in his/her own hand, usually require no witnesses or other formalities.  If the will is otherwise valid under state law, it can operate to revoke prior wills, even those that follow traditional form and formalities.

 

LL

 

And the fact that the prior will was in the custody of the Register of Wills is irrelevant as a will is not effective until the death of the testator.  Whether the new will is valid and overturns the old will is a  matter of each state's laws.

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J. Mark,  thanks for validating what many of us suspect about some lawyers.

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Thanks for the responses, I'm still reading this book and I can tell you there's alot more to it than a handwritten will. It gets more complicated the more you turn the pages!!:o

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