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How can I be sure that a holograph will is valid?

Holograph wills are one of the most common forms of testamentary disposition in France.. Often chosen for its simplicity and ease of useHowever, this type of will must meet certain conditions to be considered valid in the eyes of the law. 

Discover the main rules to guarantee the validity of your holographic will, as well as the precautions to take regarding the registration and safekeeping of this precious document. 👇

1. Legal provisions governing holograph wills

According to the French Civil Code, a holograph will must meet several criteria to be considered valid. These criteria include :

➡️ The testator's age and legal capacity :

They must have reached the age of 16 and be capable of discernment.

➡️ Entirely handwritten :

The will must be written in the testator's own handwriting.This is achieved without the use of mechanical or computerized means (printer, computer, etc.).

➡️ The precise date of writing:

The will must mention the day, month and year it was drawn up. If the date is missing or incorrect, the validity of the will may be called into question.

➡️ The testator's signature :

This must appear at the end of the will.

In addition, a holograph will must comply with certain rules, particularly with regard to the provisions it contains. So.., it may not include clauses contrary to law or morality, or prejudice the rights of heirs with reserved rights (descendants and surviving spouse).

2. Preservation and registration of a holograph will

In order to avoid any subsequent dispute as to the validity of a holograph will, it is strongly recommended that certain precautions be taken regarding its safekeeping and registration:

➡️ Register the will with a notary:

Even if this is not compulsory, it guarantees the authenticity of the document and makes it easier to take into account when settling the estate.

➡️ Deposit the will with a notary or in a safe-deposit box:

This ensures that the document will be kept in good condition and will remain accessible after the testator's death.

➡️ Informing relatives of the existence of a will :

⚠️ To be valid, a holographic will must be found after the testator's death. It is therefore important that those likely to be affected by the estate are informed of the existence of the document and where it is kept.

On LegapassYou can leave instructions for your beneficiary to find your will after your death.

3. Risks of non-compliance with validity conditions

⚠️ If a holographic will does not comply with the formal and substantive requirements laid down by law, it may be considered null and void. and without effect.

In this case, the provisions it contains will not be taken into account when settling the estate, which will be settled according to the legal rules of devolution of the estate.

➡️ Contesting a holograph will

Heirs or other persons with an interest in the matter can contest the validity of a holographic will if they consider that it does not meet the legal requirements.

This challenge must be brought before the competent court, which will decide on the validity or invalidity of the will after examining the elements presented.

➡️ Revocation of a holograph will

The testator may at any time revoke the provisions of his holograph will by expressly revoking it. (for example, by drafting a new will) or tacitly (by performing acts incompatible with the testamentary provisions).

Revocation entails the cancellation of the previous provisions, which will no longer be taken into account in the succession.

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4. How long is a holograph will valid?

Holograph wills are valid for an unlimited period of timeprovided the formal and substantive conditions are met.

In principle, a holographic will remains valid indefinitely as long as the testator has not revoked it or replaced it with another document.

However, certain circumstances may affect the validity of a holograph will over time:

➡️ Changes in the testator's personal or family situation (marriage, divorce, birth of children, etc.) may render certain provisions unsuitable or contrary to legal rules.

➡️ Legislative developments may also have an impact on the validity of the testamentary provisions, particularly with regard to the rights of heirs with reserved rights and inheritance tax.

It is therefore advisable to check regularly whether your holographic will is still appropriate and compliant with current legal provisions.

In conclusion, you must take every precaution to ensure the validity of your holograph will. Although holograph wills offer great flexibility in expressing your last wishes regarding your estate, you should take great care to ensure that they comply with the conditions of validity imposed by law, and to set up storage and information systems to guarantee the effectiveness of the will after your death.

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The value of your digital assets is inestimable. 💎
The value of your digital assets is inestimable. 💎