Rules in Nebraska for Holographic Wills

By Beverly Bird

Nebraska is one of 26 states as of 2009 that accept holographic wills if they meet certain requirements. A holographic will is one handwritten by the testator, or the person who is making it. If you handwrite your will, it may be to your advantage to have an attorney look it over to make sure it achieves everything you intend so that the probate court will not have problems interpreting it after your death.

Nebraska is one of 26 states as of 2009 that accept holographic wills if they meet certain requirements. A holographic will is one handwritten by the testator, or the person who is making it. If you handwrite your will, it may be to your advantage to have an attorney look it over to make sure it achieves everything you intend so that the probate court will not have problems interpreting it after your death.

Content

Your entire will must be in your handwriting in Nebraska for all of it to be valid. If there are any printed or typewritten portions, those portions will be ignored under Section 30-2328 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes.

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Signature

Your will must be signed by you. If you handwrite all your provisions, then forget to sign it, your will is not legal. Since 1998, however, Nebraska has a provision that if you write only your initials, it's considered as valid as signing your entire name.

Witnesses

Holographic wills do not have to be witnessed in Nebraska. However, if you do have yours signed by witnesses, it will not invalidate it and might possibly lend it credibility if anyone tries to dispute it.

Date

The dating of your holographic will is the vaguest of Nebraska’s requirements. Ideally, you should include the entire date in your handwriting. Since 1993, however, if you write only the month and the year, that is accepted as enough. If you neglect to date your will, this might not invalidate it if you have no other will or if the terms of your holographic will are reasonably similar to another will you have made. Another possibility accepted by Nebraska is that the contents of the will can establish the date. For instance, if your will bequeaths a car that you owned in 2009 but not in 2010, then Nebraska will infer that you made your will in 2009. Section 30-2328 of the Nebraska Revised Statutes also allows “extrinsic circumstances” or “other evidence” to determine a date, but, of course, the best thing to do is make sure you date your will in the first place.

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References

Related articles

What States Accept Holographic Wills?

A holographic -- also called "olographic" in Louisiana -- will is written in the handwriting of the testator, or the person making the will. Not all states recognize a holographic will as valid. The states that do recognize them have differing requirements for what constitutes a proper holographic will. For instance, some states require that the entire will be handwritten, while others require only that "material provisions" be in the testator's handwriting.

Kinds of Last Wills & Testaments

A last will and testament most commonly takes the form of a statutory will, either drawn up by an attorney or written by the maker to comply with the laws of the state where he lives. If you choose to write your will yourself, you can purchase state-specific forms online that conform with your state's laws, preprinted with spaces where you can write in the specifics of your personal situation. Many states accept other kinds of wills, as well.

Are Homemade Wills Legal in Texas?

Texas does not require you to have an attorney draft your will, so you can write one yourself at home or complete one online. However, your homemade typewritten will must meet all the same formalities as if your will had been drafted by an attorney, and an online legal services provider can help you meet these formalities. Texas will also allow handwritten -- or holographic -- wills, but they come with inherent disadvantages.

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