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LegallyHeidi

Two Wills?

4 posts in this topic

This involves the state of Georgia.

My great-grandmother passed away a few days, and at the funeral yesterday one of her sons said that she had made a hand-written will a few months before. His wife wrote it, and my great-grandmother signed it. He provided copies to the relatives, and it is her signature. However, in the mid 1990s she had a will filed at an attorneys office, and has never amended it. The hand written will does not mention the previous will. In the hand-written will one relative is lieft out. Which would hold up in court?

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According to the Georgia Code, any changes to a will, no matter how small, must be done with the same legal formalities as the will itself (two witnesses and preferably a notary). To learn more about this subject matter, you may want to read the Georgia Wills Laws as a good resource. I also suggest you consult with a local Georgia Wills Lawyer for clariifcaiton on your specific matter. Many lawyers do offer a free consultation.

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You may contest a will written handwritten by someone else (though it is not clear whether it was hand-written or by "wrote" you mean typed it up), unless perhaps it contains a notation that the maker wasn't physically able to write it all out herself.

"However, in the mid 1990s she had a will filed at an attorneys office, and has never amended it."

That isn't relevant if she made a new will that supercedes the old.

"The hand written will does not mention the previous will."

Not necessarily relevant (even if this weren't a matter of it being hand-written).

"Which would hold up in court?"

We cannot know the answer from here simply based on what you've posted. Certainly, the "left out" relative ought to consult with local estate-probate counsel.

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It appears from a quick google search that any will must be witnessed by at least two witnesses in order to be valid under Georgia law. You don't mention anything about the handwritten will being witnessed, so I have to assume it wasn't. If that's correct, then it is not valid and the mid-1990s will would control.

Some states permit "holographic wills," which basically means a will that is written entirely by the testator (i.e., the person who made the will) and without witnesses. Georgia does not permit holographic wills and, even if it did, the will that was handwritten by your great-grandmother's son would not be valid even though she signed it.

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