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How can I cancel a holograph will free of charge? The 3 steps to follow.

Cancellation of a holograph will may be necessary in certain situations, whether due to a change in circumstances or simply to the because you've changed your mind about the distribution of your assets after your death. Although the process may seem complex, it's essential to understand the steps involved to ensure the validity of the cancellation.

Understanding a holograph will

Before we start exploring the various methods of cancelling a holograph will, it's important to know exactly what this means. Under French law, a holographic will is a a document written entirely in the testator's hand, expressing his or her last wishes regarding succession and the division of his or her property. Unlike an authentic will, this type of will does not require the intervention of a notary (although this is advisable), and has the advantage of being simple and inexpensive to draw up. 

How do I cancel a holograph will?

You have several options to cancel your holograph willHere are just a few examples:

1. Writing a new testament

One of the simplest ways of cancelling a holograph will is to draw up a new one.. By law, the most recent will automatically replaces the previous one. So, if you decide to change or cancel certain provisions of your original holograph will, all you have to do is draw up a new document, clearly stating your new wishes.

To guarantee the validity of the New TestamentMake sure it meets the same requirements as the previous one, including :

2. Physical destruction of the document

Another way of invalidating your holograph will is to physically destroy the original document. According to the law, the voluntary and intentional destruction of a will by its author leads to its annulment. This can be done in various ways, such as :

  • Tearing or burning the document ;
  • Cross out the passages concerning the wishes you wish to cancel. 

⚠️ If you have forwarded a copy of your holographic will to a third party, such as a notary or a relative, the destruction of the original may not be sufficient to prove your intention to annul the document.

3. Express revocation

Express revocation involves clearly express in writing your wish to cancel your holograph will. This declaration must be drawn up according to the same criteria as a holographic will (handwriting, dating, signature) and explicitly state that you are cancelling your old will.

 

It is also possible to mention this revocation in an authentic will drawn up before a notary. In this case, the notary will ensure that the revocation complies with the required legal conditions and will enter the revocation in the Fichier Central des Dispositions de Dernières Volontés (FCDDV - Central Last Will and Testament File)This guarantees greater protection against possible disputes.

What to do in the event of a dispute?

If your holograph will is the subject of a dispute or challenge by your heirs, it is advisable to consult a lawyer specializing in inheritance law. He or she can assist you in the procedure and help you reach an amicable agreement or, if necessary, defend your rights in court.

In conclusion, cancelling a holographic will is an important step that requires a good knowledge of legal rules and the various options available to you. Whether you choose to draw up a new will, physically destroy the old one, or expressly revoke your testamentary dispositions, it is essential to comply with legal requirements and keep proof of your intention to cancel.

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