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Posted on: Apr 13, 2020

Houston Volunteer Lawyers (HVL) developed directions on how to draft a legally-enforceable, handwritten will from home—allowing people to do stopgap estate planning while observing social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The complimentary guide is available for download here at

Most often used in states of emergency, holographic wills are recognized by the State of Texas. Using HVL’s guide will give basic legal protection to people unable to meet with an attorney at this time.

"This new project can be used by everyone and will hopefully provide peace of mind in a time when there is so much uncertainty," Jennifer Hasley, Chair of Houston Volunteer Lawyers, said.

Once completed, the will should be stored in a safe place where an appointed executor knows where to locate it, if needed. Once able, the will writer should consult an attorney to either confirm the will is sufficient or get the appropriate documents in place for the individual’s estate planning needs.

The guide was written by HVL staff attorneys: Veronica Jacobs, Angela McKinnon, Barbara Urdiales, Blenda Ruiz, Thomas Mendez and Leesa Everitt. HVL thanks attorneys Dianne Reis and William Pargaman for allowing the use of their sample holographic wills in the guide.

For more information on this and other HVL services, including an online intake application and virtual legal clinics, please call (713) 228-0735 or visit