Brief Fact Summary. Appellant contends that a handwritten note that was found in the decedent’s office, which contained no subject, verb, or description of property, cannot be a valid holographic will. Respondent, the decedent’s girlfriend, argues that the note is a valid holographic will passing the decedent’s estate to her.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. Although a will does not require any specific language, a handwritten note that does not contain any words of an intent to transfer property at death cannot be a valid holographic will.
In order to satisfy due process, the burden placed on the plaintiff must be compatible with the early stage at which the motion is brought and heard citation and the limited opportunity to conduct discovery.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Can the document found in Wong’s office, containing eight words, seven of them being proper names, constitute a valid holographic will?
Held. No. Reversed. The document cannot constitute a will as a matter of law because it does not contain any words that describe property that is meant to be bequeathed nor are there any words of donative intent.
Discussion. A valid holographic will must be entirely in the handwriting of the testator, must be signed, dated, and evidence testamentary intent. No particular words are required to create a will and extrinsic evidence may be considered if the document does not completely evidence testamentary intent. However the Court notes that every will must contain words legally sufficient to create a disposition of property.