Planning for Life

Is Handwritten Will Valid? No, But Life Tenancy May Still Exist

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on December 7, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


In a very interesting case, In the Matter of the Estate of Carl Manning Widdiss (Mass. App. Ct. 19-P-1358, November 18, 2020), involving a handwritten will, tribal law, and choice of law between Massachusetts and Arizona, the Massachusetts Appeals Court rules affirms the dismissal of the first two claims, but that the beneficiary of the will may still have the rights it granted due to actions taken by heirs after the death of the owner.

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Topics: intestacy, holographic will, handwritten will

Son Permitted to Present Evidence of Will's Validity

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 13, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis


A recent decision by the Massachusetts Appeals Court demonstrates the importance, though not absolute necessity, of having your will notarized. In the case In the Matter of the Estate of John J. King (Mass. App. 19-P-1210, September 2, 2020), the Appeals Court overturns a probate court decision rejecting a will that was not notarized, ruling that it should have allowed the presentation of additional evidence as to the will's validity.

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Topics: will in massachusetts, will, intestacy

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