A handwritten will may be worth…the price of the piece of paper it’s written on

I’ve always thought that if you don’t have a proper will, that it’s better to scribble something on a legal pad about your last wishes and sign it. It might be nice for your loved ones to have a handwritten message from you to remember you by, but that might be all it’s good for, depending on where the writer resides—or resided.

Such a document is known as a holographic will, and while that might conjure up images like the one on the right, it’s just a handwritten will—cursive or printed.

The problem with a holographic will—as Larry King’s family—or families—is finding out—is that they’re not valid in every state. In fact, in my state, Indiana, only the bordering states to the north and south, Kentucky and Michigan, honor them. Neither Indiana, nor Ohio, nor Illinois honor them. Here is a list of the [currently] 27 states that honor them.

I’m pretty sure that our Compliance Department is going to require that we add a disclosure 👇🏻 that says this shouldn’t be construed as legal advice, but rather than take a chance with a holographic will, why not spend the bucks to meet with an attorney who can draft a will that is legally recognized in all courts of law. Your heirs—or one of your seven former wives, if you’re Larry King—might thank you some day.