Although it doesn’t occur frequently, sometimes Nevada courts will have to determine the validity of a will that has been executed in a foreign country. When a foreign will is written after a will was executed in Nevada, the question remains how the court will treat the foreign one.
The issue with foreign wills is determining whether they are executed in a manner that complies with Nevada law. Some countries have laws that differ from what Nevada requires, such as allowing oral wills instead of ones that are signed by the testator as well as the witnesses.
A case out of Florida demonstrates how difficult this may be. In that case, a woman who had executed a will in New York later executed a will while in Argentina. The Argentina will revoked her prior will and was witnessed by three people. While this was done in front of a notary who signed the will, neither the testator or any of the witnesses signed it. This is because Argentina allows notarial wills, which are not allowed in Nevada. In the woman’s case, an appellate court ruled that the Argentina will could not be considered valid under Florida law.
People who have earlier wills that they executed in foreign countries or who have executed later wills in a foreign country may want to seek a consultation with an estate planning attorney. An attorney may be able to review the existing will to determine if it is one that is likely to be considered valid by the court . The attorney may also help by redrafting the will in a manner that complies with the law while also helping to protect the client’s interests.