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.
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.