Ready for a funny story on Handwritten Wills? Hmmmm... maybe not so funny after all.
Years ago at our Pre-Retirement Planning meetings, the attorney always told the tale of a will he was involved in... he named the story for this will, "The Bull Shit Will". This is a true story.
As background, Michigan allows holographic (handwritten wills). Basically, as long as a will is signed, dated, and witnessed, it is legal. Some states allow handwritten wills, others don't.
a fun card party at a woman's home, with lots of drinking involved,
someone mentioned wills. After much discussion, the home owner wrote out
her will, with everyone looking on and helping her. She used a napkin
to record it, nobody felt like finding paper and it was the closest
thing at hand -- with the rear end of a cow pictured on it... thus the
"bull shit will". Get it?
So they helped her list her possessions, and she decided who would get what.
A bit later, she started over -- rewrote the possessions list on another napkin with different beneficiaries receiving her possessions. Everyone had a great time at the party.
Both handwritten wills were signed and both were dated.
A week or so later, she died. Guess what happened? I bet you already guessed on this one...
Different persons came to Probate Court with two different wills -- both signed, both dated, but there was no way for the Probate Judge to tell which was the most recent will.
The court case ensued for years...
p.s. It sounds funny but that one night of drinking and lots of laughs turned into many years of court battles and many friendships lost...
More about handwritten wills here.