One can in fact leave a handwritten last will, with no required witnesses, will that is unnotarized, and still be acceptable and acknowledged by the courts and authorities in dividing one’s estates upon death.
Learned something new last week courtesy of Yahoo!’s article on Angel Locsin “being always ready”. That is, she leaves a copy of her holographic will to her father in case
something happens and she wants everything settled. (By the way got to watch One More Try by Angel, and I must say the plot is really twisted, and you must watch it).
Anyway, the curious me then researched further on holographic wills and found these sites helpful and applicable to our Philippine setting:
Basically both sites say that one can in fact leave a handwritten last will, with no required witnesses, will that is unnotarized, and still be acceptable and acknowledged by the courts and authorities in dividing one’s estates upon death.
Do you find these helpful? For me it is very helpful since the practical me wants to be ready in case something happens to me, I want my affairs in order so that what I own can be transferred, divided and used by the ones I leave behind. And, I am a bit apprehensive right now to approach lawyers, pay them etc just to craft a formal notarized last will. Makes it more creepy for me. At least with this, I can write it on my own and need not announce to the public that I have one and sort of, you know, ready to go.
Not really ready to go, in fact I’d prefer that the holographic will is not needed for a very long time, but again, let us face it. We shall all die and truth is we don’t know when. So this is also another way of being insured and secured, because we want those we leave behind to enjoy and benefit from what little properties we have acquired while still alive. Just being practical and realistic.
Otherwise, they will have a hard time processing documents here and there just to lawfully and legally claim what you meant to be theirs anyway.
Just take note of the important components: “To be valid, the holographic will must be entirely written, dated and signed by the testator himself” (PAO). So do not type it, it needs to be handwritten and signed since the handwriting and signature will be the proof that you indeed wrote it. And write the way you normally write, in form and structure, to avoid disputes and calling on experts just to prove your handwriting.
Further, I think it will be good practice to update it regularly, just in case there are changes in the properties to divide and distribute (more properties to divide, change in distribution) or changes in the set of people you want to give these to (got married? got kids? more family members? etc)
Keep It But Don’t Bury It
But lastly, don’t keep it so secret and hidden. Definitely, when the time comes that it’s already needed, you want someone to find it, read it and execute it. As Angel did, she gave it to her father. Expectedly met some apprehensions and refusal at first, this is expected, but the value of doing it is still there, right?