New York Holographic Wills Made by Military Personnel

A holographic will is one which is entirely written in the handwriting of the testator (the person making the will).  A holographic does not have to meet all of the formal requirements of a last will and testament under New York law. Why doesn’t everyone just write their own will in their own handwriting if you can avoid all the rules and regulations?  Holographic will are only valid for specific people in specific circumstances.

Military personnel may write their own wills if they are participating in a war (declared or undeclared) or other armed conflict. People who accompany the armed forces during war or armed conflict (such as medical or administrative personnel) may also qualify for valid holographic wills. The intent of the law is to allow individuals involved in combat to write a will without the necessities of formal will drafting when they are in circumstances which could be fatal. The will remains valid for only one year after the testator leaves armed conflict or war.  This time is to allow the testator an opportunity to have a proper will drafted.

Incapacity Following Military Service

A valid holographic will remain in effect if the testator becomes incapacitated after making the will and before the expiration of the one year period of returning from combat or armed conflict. The holographic will remains valid during the period of incapacity and for one year after a person regains his capacity.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced New York Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman knows the current estate planning laws and can help you understand the consequences of your estate planning decisions on your loved ones. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.

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