Oregon Does Not Recognize Purely Holographic Wills

Unlike many other states, purely handwritten, or holographic, wills
will not be recognized by Oregon courts as valid unless they are signed
and witnessed with certain formalities. For a will to be valid in Oregon
it should be signed and dated by the person making the will, or the
testator, at the end of the will. The testator’s signature must be
attested by at least two witnesses, who must see the testator actually
sign the will in order to sign as witness. The testator’s signature need
not be notarized, but it is very helpful to have the witnesses also
sign a notarized affidavit at the time they sign as witnesses. This
affidavit is necessary to admit the will to a probate court as proof
that the witness’ signatures were valid. Without this affidavit, it will
be necessary to obtain such an affidavit before the will is admitted to
probate, and it can be difficult to find the witnesses if the will is
not admitted to probate until many years after it was signed.

To avoid any appearance of impropriety or undue influence, it is also
recommended that the witnesses not be named as beneficiaries in the
will.

“This advisory is published by Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, PC
to provide a summary of significant developments to our clients and the
community. It is intended to be informational and does not constitute
legal advice regarding any specific situation. This material may also be
considered attorney advertising under court rules of certain
jurisdictions.”

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