Article 601 of the civil code describes the three types of wills provided for by Italian law, they are the holographic will, the public or notarial will and the secret will
The simplest and least expensive form is the holographic will. It is a document that can be prepared without using the notary. It is drawn up as a private agreement, through which the testator disposes of his assets based on his own determination in favor of the heirs.
Since it is a private agreement, it can be drawn up without the advice of a notary, therefore this solution is the cheapest. However, since a notarial verification does not take place, and to prevent the document from being false or modified, this will has stringent requirements on its validity.
What are the requirements
The holographic will must be written entirely by hand of the testator, dated and signed
Basically, the holographic will must be written entirely by hand without using a computer or typewriter. It has no value if it is drawn up with a computer or typewriter and subsequently dated and signed.
The obligation to write by hand arises from the need to verify that the handwriting of the document corresponds to that of the testator.
In handwriting, the use of both cursive and block letters is allowed, however, to avoid appeals it is advisable to draw up the holographic will with the character usually used.
The date must be signed by hand at the end of the text, and must contain the day, month and year.
The signature must be handwritten at the end of the text, so that the author of the writing can be identified with certainty.
It is not allowed to insert further wills under the signature, as they could be "anomalous".
In a will consisting of several sheets, each page must be signed.
The signature can consist of the name and surname, nickname, pseudonym or an abbreviation which, however, must be known by the heirs and by other people close to the testator.
The clear identification of the author of the will is essential.
Invalidity of the holographic will
On the death of the testator, the holographic will is read and his will kept.
However, in the event that one or more heirs intend to challenge the deed, for formal or substantial defects, they can request a judgment of annulment or a declaration of nullity.
The nullity or cancellation depends on the defect contained in the holographic will.
Art. 606, paragraph 1, clarifies the causes of nullity of the will:
- "The will is void when the autograph or signature is missing in the case of a holographic will or when the notary has written the declarations of the testator or the signature of one or the other, in the case of a will by notary's deed ".
Therefore, writing not written by hand and not signed by the testator is considered null and void.
On the other hand, the will that has a formal defect in the date can be annulled.