- T wanted to prepare a will before a trip to FL
- T filled in the blanks of a pre-printed will form
- T indicated that he planned to leave equal share to 3 of his five children (Kerry, Tara, and Kristin)
- T showed completed form to B and BW
- BW saw T sign the completed form as well as the blank form he intended to use to more it more neat
- BW, nor anyone else, signed the first form as a witness.
- B, BW and M signed the blank form, thinking it would eventually be the final copy.
- T died in Aug 2001 before completing the 2nd form
- Kerry, Tara and Kristin tried to probate first, unattested will
- Todd and Allison (2 remaining children objected)
- Whether T’s will qualifies as a holographic will
- In order for a document not qualifying as a formal will to be admitted to probate, it must qualify as a holographic will per the statute, which is one where the signature and the material provisions are in the handwriting of the testator.
- Yes, affirmed
- Ds argue that the will was not a holographic will because they argue that a material provision (testamentary intent) appears in the preprinted portion of the form and therefore is not in T’s handwriting.
- 2 approaches to this problem
- Some courts look to the preprinted words as evidence of context for the handwritten words
- Other courts have ignored all of the preprinted words and determined whether the handwritten words, taken alone, fulfill the requirements of a holographic will
Court takes first approach, ruling that the printed portions of a will form can be incorporated into a holographic will where the TC finds testamentary intent, considering all of the evidence in the case.