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Nevada Wills Laws

Talking about creating a will can be scary. Who really wants to think about their own death and what happens to their assets when they’re gone? However, if you don’t develop an estate plan, including a will and possibly a trust, your possessions will be given to your relatives according to the state’s intestacy laws.

Sometimes, the children, parents, and/or siblings who will inherit our estate by intestate succession are exactly who we want to receive it and maybe even in the proportions we’d like. Often, a person wants to donate to their favorite charity or a cherished friend. To do this, you should create a will.

Nevada’s main wills laws are outlined in the table below.

Code Sections Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 133 – Wills
Legal Requirements of Valid Will Every person of sound mind and over 18 years old can make a will in Nevada. The legal requirements of a will are:
  • In writing
  • Signed by the creator of the will (the “testator”) or by another person at his or her direction
  • Signed by two competent witnesses in the presence of the testator
Self-Proved Wills A will in Nevada can be “self-proved” meaning the witnesses don’t have to testify in probate court about the will, usually, if a self-proving affidavit is attached to the will that’s signed by the witnesses and is notarized.
Witnesses You can’t give anything in the will to a witness of that will. The gift will be void unless there are two other competent witnesses who also sign the will.
Revocation of Will A will can be revoked in a number of ways, including by:
  • The burning, tearing, cancelling or obliterating of the will, with the intention of revoking it, by the testator or someone else in the presence and at the direction of the testator
  • Executing a subsequent will or codicil (a formal later supplement to a will that explains, changes, or revokes all or part of it)
  • Marrying after making a will revokes the will to the spouse, if he or she survives the testator, unless there’s a prenuptial agreement to the contrary, the spouse is provided for in the will, or the spouse is transferred property outside the will instead of in the will
  • Divorcing automatically revokes provisions in will towards a former spouse, unless a property or separation agreement or court order states otherwise
Oral or Nuncupative Wills Oral or “nuncupative” wills aren’t valid in Nevada or most states. However, a few states, including Texas continue to recognize oral wills in some, limited situations.
Handwritten or Holographic Wills A holographic will is valid if the material provisions, date, and signature are handwritten of the testator. It doesn’t need to be notarized or witnessed, can be made inside or outside the state, and doesn’t have to follow a particular format.

Anyone at least 18 years old and of sound mind can dispose of all or part of his or her estate, real or personal, by a handwritten will.
Validity of Out-of-State Wills Yes, wills made in other states are valid in Nevada, as long as in writing, signed by the testator, and valid according to the laws of the state in which it was created or where the testator lived.

You can draft your own vaild will in Nevada using numerous online will resources or just fully handwriting a will. However, if you have significant assets, you should speak to an experienced local wills lawyer because you’re loved ones have a lot to lose if you make a mistake. You should also considering creating a living will to state your health care wishes and a power of attorney to designate a healthcare agent to speak for you if you become incapacitated.

Note: State laws are revised regularly; talk to a lawyer or conduct your own legal research to verify these estate planning laws.

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