A holographic will is one that the testator writes out by hand. Over half of the states in the country, including Virginia, recognize the validity of a holographic will. Eleven states do not recognize holographic wills at all, while nine states recognize them only in certain circumstances and two states have no laws regarding holographic wills one way or the other.

Although the government of Virginia allows a testator to make a holographic will, there are still rules that he or she has to follow in order for the will to be valid. According to FindLaw, the testator must sign the holographic will to ensure its validity, and the will must also appear entirely in the testator’s own handwriting. The testator must also be at least 18 years of age, or an emancipated minor, and of sound mind.

The law in Virginia does not require witnesses to a holographic will. However, it does require that two disinterested parties testify to the authenticity of the testator’s handwriting. A disinterested party is one who does not stand to inherit from the will.

If a witness is willing to attest that the will is entirely in the testator’s handwriting but lives out of state or is otherwise unable to give testimony, Virginia Law allows the witness to submit a deposition instead. However, if an interested person opposes the probate, he or she has a right to examine the witness. In that instance, it is also necessary to give notice of the place and time that the deposition took place according to the rules of Virginia’s Supreme Court.