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How To Prepare Your Own Simple Will, including Witnesses

The start of school looks very different this year for teachers and students alike. Instead of worrying about backpacks, binders, and what to wear, many are thinking about lost wages, loved ones, and a last will and testament.

Typing a Will

Yes, you can type a will rather than hand write it, but there’s a few rules to follow.

Clear Counsel Law Group is grateful for the lifelong impact teachers, administrators, coaches, and many others have, and will have, on the education and growth of our children. We hope the information below regarding preparing a simple will is helpful in these troubled times to all our educators and any others that work high-risk jobs in the current pandemic.

While a handwritten (holographic) will is valid in Nevada,[1] a signed and witnessed will is a more secure way to make your wishes known. With the help of a couple of neighbors, friends, or co-workers (the law requires 2 competent witnesses), you can prepare a valid will, including witness statements. Follow these simple steps to prepare a valid will in the State of Nevada:

  1. The Document – The Last Will and Testament of the Most Amazing Teacher in the World. Sit down at a computer or laptop and type up a will that answers the following important questions:
  • Who are you?
    • This section should identify:
      • Your full legal name,
      • If you are married and to whom, divorced, consciously uncoupled (whatever that means), and
      • If you have kids, pets, etc (list them).
    • Who is in charge?
      • This section should identify the individual(s) that you want to be the executor of your estate after you die, including address, phone number, and email if available.
      • You can identify a backup as well if you want to.
    • Who gets your stuff?
      • This section should direct your administrator on how to divide your assets among your beneficiaries. Try to be as clear and specific as possible in describing who gets what.
    • Anything else? The questions above are enough, but you can also include details regarding the following:
      • Whether you want a traditional burial or cremation.
      • Where you want to be buried.
      • Who should take care of your children or pets.

(See NRS 133.020 and 133.040 regarding details of a valid will)

  1. Your Signature:
    • Sign in the presence of the witnesses.
    • The documents must be dated and signed.
    • Your signature should be accompanied by a statement declaring that you are of age, of sound mind, and that you are signing of your own free will.
  1. Witness Statements and Signatures.
    • A typed will requires signatures from at least two (2) competent witnesses. The witnesses cannot be beneficiaries of your will or related to any beneficiaries of your will.
    • The witness signatures should be accompanied by a statement declaring that:
      • They watched you sign the will,
      • You watched them sign the witness statement, and
      • That they believe you are of age and of sound mind. (see NRS 133.050 for specific language regarding witness declarations).
    • Your witnesses should provide address, phone number and email, if possible.

You can invite a notary to notarize the execution by yourself and your witnesses, but a notary is NOT required to complete a valid will in Nevada.  Once prepared, signed, and witnessed, put the will someplace safe.

When things are clearer in the future, Clear Counsel Law Group will be glad to review your will for free to make sure that it is valid and says what you want it to say. We are currently accepting in-person meetings, but we are available for phone calls and video conferences to discuss your estate planning needs.

Taylor L. Waite
702-476-5900
taylor@clearcounsel.com

[1] Holographic Wills. If you are home alone and unwilling to venture out, you can still prepare a valid will. The following blog post from Clear Counsel Law Group will give you simple guidance on preparing a handwritten will at home. https://www.clearcounsel.com/how-to-write-your-will-while-stuck-at-home-during-the-corona-virus-pandemic/.

 

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