Arizona law requires that a will be signed by two witnesses. A will that does not comply with that law can nevertheless be valid, however, if the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the person making the will (the “testator”). Such a will is called a holographic will.
A holographic will should be used only as a last resort. Getting the will admitted to probate, and the actual administration of the estate, are likely to be much more complicated with a holographic will. If you have no alternative, however, here’s my template for a holographic will:
The statute says that the signature and material provisions must be in the handwriting of the testator. This means write the entire thing out in longhand. It’s not going to be that long anyway.
First, write this: “This is my Will.” Next, write: “I nominate [insert name here] as my personal representative.” Then, “I give all of my estate to [insert name].” Finally, if you have children under 18, write this: “I nominate [insert name] as guardian and conservator for my children under age 18.” Then sign your name and write the date under your name.
Seriously, don’t do this unless you have no alternative. But if you have to make a will this way, it should work.*
*It should work in Arizona, that is. I don’t know what the rules are in other states. This discussion refers only to Arizona law.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.