A family friend has recently passed away, and was in the process of updating her will. They told many individuals of their plan, and has handwritten notes on the exact amendments that were supposed to change. Unfortunately, they were not filed with an attorney prior to her death, and now the executor is not following the wishes of the deceased. The executor is well aware that certain assets were supposed to go to myself and my family, however is arguing that since it was not a signed document, that I have no legal right to object. There are individuals who were told of how the will was going to be updated who would testify in court. I am wondering if I have any legal options I could pursue? Before I give up, I'd like to know of anything that could be done. Thank you!
2 Answers from Attorneys
Unless the handwritten notes meet the standards of a holographic will, the will without amendments will stand. It does not matter what the executor knows or aware of. If the handwritten notes are not signed it would not meet the standard, and they are right you have no right to object.. The best intentions of the decedent does not make a will valid. Does not matter how many individuals were told there would be an updated will, if if wasn't legally executed, it did not happen. Based on your facts you probably won't have much success. I would probably hire a probate attorney and review everything
Attorney Kelvin Green has given you good legal advice, in that he advises you to obtain a legal opinion from a probate lawyer as to whether you can overcome the facts as you have stated, re failure to obtain a formal amendment to the will, or obtaining a ruling that a holographic will has been created by the sum of all of the deceased's notes of future amendments including the advising of other persons of her intentions. I would conclude the written will stands as written.