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Does Rhode Island recognize holographic wills?

Many reason may exists as to why Rhode Island residents (and American adults in general) tend to put off their estate planning. Some might even tell you that you do not have to worry about it until you approach the end of your life, and that even when you do, all that's needed is a simple document (or even declaration) stating what you want done with your estates. This line of thinking fails to into account two very important points: first, no one knows when they are going to die (or much less have time to scribble down a last will and testament). Second, you should at least find out whether a hastily thrown together will is even valid. 

If you decide to simply write down your will in your own hand and sign it, what you have actually created is a holographic will. Most recognize a standard will as one that has been typed and prepared, witnessed by the appropriate number of witnesses, and legitimized by a notary. Some states will allow a handwritten will to be considered valid provided it meets all of the other criteria required of a legitimate will. Others will even recognize holographic wills created on one's death bed. 

Unfortunately, Rhode Island recognizes neither. Per Section 33-5-6 of Rhode Island's General Laws, you can only use a holographic will to detail the administration of your estate if you are a member of the military engaged in active military service, or if you are a mariner at sea. The same holds true of nuncupative or oral wills. In any other circumstance, your will must meet the standards set for by state law in order to be valid. 

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