A will is a written, legal document that details the wishes and desires of a person when he or she dies. Many types of will exist depending upon what is needed by the writer of the will, referred to as the testator. When the testator handwrites and signs the will himself or herself, this is referred to as a holographic will.
It is common that a handwritten and signed will by a testator, a holographic will, is signed in the absence of witnesses, as is the usual protocol. However, some jurisdictions recognize such holographic wills. The existence of a holographic will is due mostly to the instances of imminent death. When a person is near death and has no other existing will, he or she may take the opportunity to make a holographic will.
In order for a holographic will to be recognized in probate court, several things must be fulfilled. First, evidence must be presented that proves that the testator did indeed make the will. This can be done through witness testimonies and other relevant testimonies from handwriting experts or other experts. Second, it must be proven that the testator was in a mentally fit state in order to have written and signed the will. This is usually presumed unless a party presents evidence contrary to this presumption. Lastly, third, the testator must state specifically the disbursement of his property and estate to his or her beneficiaries.
A holographic will is usually written and signed by soldiers before battle.