Mystic Will

Primary tabs

A mystic will is a last will and testament in which the contents of the written will are kept secret until probate. In this manner, mystic wills serve the purpose of preventing individuals other than the testator from learning the contents of a will during a testator’s life. Mystic wills are only recognized in Louisiana state as set forth by Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Articles 2885 and 2886.

A valid mystic will is created as follows:

  1. The testator writes and signs the will in secrecy.
  2. The testator places the will in a sealed envelope.
  3. The testator presents the signed envelope containing the mystic will to a notary and three witnesses. The testator then declares to the notary and witnesses that the envelope contains the testator’s last will and testament, and all parties sign the sealed envelope (referred to as “the act of superscription”). The notary may serve as one of the three witnesses. Neither the notary nor the witnesses see the contents of the mystic will.

After death of the testator, a probate court will verify the validity of a mystic will prior to opening and enforcing the contents of the will. To confirm validity, at least three witnesses who were present at the signing of the envelope must testify that the sealed envelope in probate court is the envelope that the testator signed in the witnesses’ presence, and that the testator declared that the envelope contained his last will and testament. The Supreme Court of the State of Louisiana has held that a will failing to meet the requirements of a valid mystic will may still constitute a valid holographic will.