When you decide to do your estate planning, you need to know how to draft a valid will in the United States. That typically means a written will signed by you and a witness and/or notarized. While using a notary is not required, it’s an extra step that people sometimes take to ensure the validity of the will.
The third type of will is a holographic will. This is a written will, but it’s one that you write yourself, rather than with a legal team. This is only legal in California when you follow the correct steps precisely, and there is a higher chance of a dispute with an unwitnessed will than with one that someone else signed off on as well.
These three different types of wills all have different origins. The notarized will started in the Roman Empire, so there is a long history of having these officially endorsed documents. The unwitnessed holographic will began in France and is considered a historic part of their customary laws. A will that is witnessed by a third party, which is very common in the United States, came directly from England. The main legal premise for it is the Statute of Frauds, which was created in 1677. This was about 100 years before the United States split off from England, and many laws and legal ideas were adopted and later adapted.
No matter what type of will you want to use, these histories show you just how complex this process can be. To make sure that everything goes smoothly for your family, you need to know exactly what steps to take.