How to Write a Will in Nevada

By Beverly Bird

You may legally write a will in Nevada if you are older than 18 years of age and of sound mind, which basically means that you know you're writing a will and understand what's in it. The will must be in written or electronic form. Nevada does not accept nuncupative wills, also called oral or deathbed wills.

Step 1

Inventory your assets. Identify which property belongs in your will and which does not. For instance, if you have a life insurance policy that names your daughter as beneficiary, this is a “non-probate” asset and does not need to be in your will. Only property that does not pass directly to someone else by way of title or contract, such as certain real estate or retirement benefits, is disbursed in your last will and testament.

Step 2

Create a list of who you want to name as beneficiaries in your will. Decide who is going to receive what property and assets. Nevada allows you to attach a separate property list to your will for smaller items of specific property, such as items of jewelry, furniture or collections. It must include the date you are making it, a reference to the will it is to be appended to, a detailed description of each item of property and who you are giving it to, and your signature.

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Step 3

Decide who you want to settle your estate after your death. This is your personal representative, also called an executor or administrator. Choose an alternate, as well, in case the first person predeceases you or does not want to serve. Speak to each of them to get their consent to act in this position.

Step 4

Select a guardian to care for your minor children, if any, after your death, and make sure she is willing to do this. In most cases, your children's other parent will raise them when you pass away, but you should prepare for the eventuality that he might predecease you or that you die together.

Step 5

Prepare your will to include your bequests, property list, personal representative and guardian. You can pay an attorney to do this or download a statutory form from the Internet, but make sure the form is unique to Nevada so it includes the appropriate language for the state. Nevada also allows electronic and holographic, or handwritten, wills. If you write your will by hand, the signature, date, bequests and all named parties must be in your penmanship. If you do your will electronically, it must include at least one authentic identifier, such as an electronic copy of your fingerprint or a voice recognition component. Store it to an electronic file in such a way that any alteration is readily apparent.

Step 6

Gather your witnesses to watch you sign your will and to sign it themselves. Nevada requires two witnesses, except for holographic or electronic wills, which do not have to be witnessed. You can also "self-prove" your will at this time. This involves a second declaration, signed by you and your witnesses, notarized and attached to your will. The declaration attests that the will is authentic so your witnesses will not have to appear in court after your death to testify to that.

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Is a Notarized Will Legal in Massachusetts?


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