The holographic will

7 January 2020

Article 601 of Italian the civil code describes the three types of will provided for by the Italian legal system, 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 private writing, through which the testator disposes of his assets based on his determination in favor of the heirs.

Since it is a private contract, it can be drawn up without the advice of a notary, therefore this solution is the cheapest. However, since there is no notarial verification, 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 the hand of the testator, dated and signed.

In essence, the holographic will is 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 of handwriting 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 font 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 written by hand at the end of the text, so that the author of the writing can be safely identified.

It is not allowed to insert further wills under the signature, as they could be "anomalous".

In the testament consisting of several sheets, each page must be signed.

The subscription can consist of the name and surname, nickname, pseudonym or an abbreviation which, however, must be known by the heirs and other people close to the testator.

The clear identification of the author of the will is essential.


Nullity of the holographic will


Upon the death of the testator, the holographic will is read and his will maintained.

However, in the event that one or more heirs intend to challenge the act, for formal or substantial defects, they may request a cancellation judgment or a declaration of nullity.

The nullity or cancellation depends on the defect contained in the holographic will.

Article. 606, paragraph 1, clarifies the causes of nullity of the will:

- "The will is void when there is no autograph or subscription in the case of a holographic will or the writing of the testator's declarations in writing by the notary or the signing of one or the other, in the case of will by deed of notary ".

Therefore, unsigned handwriting and unsigned writing by the testator is deemed void.

On the other hand, the testament that presents a formal defect on the date can be canceled.

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