What do you know about wills? Like most other people, you may know that this document distributes your assets to those you choose after your death. Many people often refer to it as the “cornerstone” of an estate plan.
While those statements are true, you may not know that Nevada recognizes different types of wills and numerous rules regarding what qualifies as a valid will.
Beyond the “normal” will
Ordinarily, you would create a written will signed by you and witnessed by two people who do not receive any inheritance from it in the presence of each other. If one of your witnesses is in your will, then two other people must also witness it. However, your will may fall into another of the following types:
- A holographic or handwritten will does not bear the signatures of any witnesses, but as long as the words and your signature are in your handwriting, it may qualify as a valid will under state law.
- A self-proved will releases any witnesses from having to testify in court if it includes an affidavit signed by you, two witnesses and a notary. A court may declare this type of will valid if it meets all of the legal requirements.
- The state does not recognize nuncupative, or oral, wills. Your will must be in writing in order to remain valid.
Even though the state recognizes holographic and self-proved wills, it would probably be best to document and execute your will in the usual way in order to make sure that it does not meet with any challenges based on its execution.
A warning if you want to revoke your will
Nevada law prescribes the legal ways in which you can revoke your current will:
- If you get married after making your will, the marriage revokes the will unless you have a prenuptial agreement, you gave your spouse property outside of your will, or you provided for him or her in your will.
- If you execute another will revoking your current one.
- If you execute an amendment, or codicil, to your will, revoking all or part of the current one, that would comply with the law as well.
- Unless your final divorce decree states otherwise, your divorce revokes any provisions you made for your former spouse.
Perhaps tearing, obliterating, burning or canceling your current will in order to avoid any potential future confusion would be the best course of action and provide you with some peace of mind.
If you have any questions regarding creating a will, along with what kind of will would work best in your situation, you could schedule a consultation with an estate-planning attorney.