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Are Handwritten Wills Legal in Georgia?

When it comes to creating a will, having the right form of legal documentation is key. In the state of Georgia, a holographic will is an option for individuals seeking to ensure that their wishes about how their assets should be distributed are legally valid.

A holographic will is one that has been written in the testator’s own hand. It does not need to be witnessed or notarized like other wills and may even include informal language or notes from the testator themselves. However, there are some strict guidelines regarding these types of wills, so it’s important that anyone considering writing a holographic will in Georgia fully understand all regulations and stipulations.

First and foremost, a holographic will must meet all requirements for a legitimate last will and testament under Georgia law. This means including all relevant information such as who should inherit your estate, who should care for any minor children you have, and any other instructions related to asset distribution.

Additionally, the entire document – aside from dates – must be written by hand. That said, while handwritten wills do not need to be witnessed or signed by an attorney in Georgia, this does not mean that they don’t come without risk; mistakes made on parenthetical additions or formatting can lead to issues following your death as those closest to you attempt to interpret your wishes.

For those who wish to take on the risks associated with writing their own holographic will in Georgia, it’s also important to remember never to cross out anything either once you have finished writing out your last wishes; revisions must always be written separately and added onto the original document so there won’t be any confusion later on down the road. Finally, make sure that at least two people know where you have stored both your original documents (if multiple exist) as well as copies made via scanner/copier just in case something happens before they can be filed with the probate court after you pass away.

Overall, while falling back on a formal process when creating one’s last wishes is always best practice for legality purposes as well as peace of mind among family members who eventually need access to them, understanding how a holographic will works within Georgia can add another layer of control over how one’s estate is handled after death.