A Will is a legal document that does not become effective until after the person who executed it dies and their survivors file a probate action. Oklahoma law recognized two types of Wills – a formal Will witnessed and notarized, and a handwritten or “holographic” Will.
The first Will is almost always prepared by a licensed attorney. We strongly recommend that you seek the counsel and assistance of a licensed attorney if this is your choice.
The second Will, handwritten, is acceptable under Oklahoma law but, as a practical matter, many courts do not favor this approach. Oklahoma law requires that all of the writing in a holographic Will be in the same hand as the person executing it. It must also be signed and dated. While not a statutory requirement, more and more courts will not accept a multiple page holographic Will if it appears that some pages are missing. If you choose this approach, which this firm does not recommend, we suggest you number each page and also state how many pages make up the full Will (Example: Page 1 of 9)
An effective approach in Estate Planning is to draft both a Will and a trust. The trust can be used to take title to all of your property and honor your bequests to your heirs without filing a Probate action. When you execute your trust, you should also execute a Will. Everyone forgets to put a bank account, a car or something else into their Trust’s name. Your heirs will then have a properly executed Will that gives everything not in the Trust when you died to your Trust after you pass.