A handwritten will, called a holographic will, is legal in some of the provinces of Canada. There is no set form for a holographic will, and it does not have to use any specific words or phrases. A holographic will can be used to save money on legal fees or in times of emergency. For example, Cecil Harris, a Saskatchewan farmer, died after being pinned under his tractor. Before he died, he carved his will on the fender of the tractor. His will, which was upheld by a court as a valid holographic will, read, “In case I die in this mess, I leave all to the wife. Cecil Harris.”
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Determine if a holographic will is valid in your Canadian province. Holographic wills are valid in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Alberta, Newfoundland, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In Prince Edward Island, the court can recognize a holographic will, but is not required to. Holographic wills are not recognized in British Columbia, but provisions of holographic wills made outside of British Columbia and concerning property located in British Columbia can be upheld by the court.
Write your Will. A holographic will must be written entirely in the testator's own handwriting. A computer, printed form or typewriter may not be used. Your will should set out who gets your property and should name someone as your executor. You do not have to state that you are of sound mind and body, and your will can be as short as you want. Your will should clearly express your wish to leave your property to someone. For example, “I, John Smith, leave all of my property to my son,” is sufficient as it clearly expresses John's wish to leave his property to his son.
Sign and date your will. A Canadian holographic will must generally be signed and dated in order to be valid.
Ensure there is evidence that you actually created the will yourself. This can take the form of other documents in your handwriting that can be compared to the Will. witness signatures are not normally required on a holographic will.
References & Resources
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