Do-It-Yourself (Holographic) Wills – Knowing Your Options in the Age of Quarantine

This article provides basic information on what a holographic will is and how to create one that is valid and enforceable in the State of Nevada.

The term “holographic will” refers to a document that sets forth an individual’s last will and testament and which that individual has created on their own. In this context, the person making the will is referred to as a “testator.” In Nevada, a holographic will is valid and enforceable if all of the following requirements are met:

          1. The signature and date set forth in the will are written by the hand of the testator.

          2. The material provisions set forth in the will are written by the hand of the testator.

          3. The testator is of sound mind.

          4. The testator is over the age of 18.

A holographic will that meets the statutory requirements is valid and enforceable regardless of whether at the time it is made, the testator is physically located in or out of Nevada.

PLEASE BE ADVISED that when an individual establishes a testamentary transfer of an asset to a beneficiary by holographic will, the asset becomes a part of the individual’s probate estate upon death, and in order for the beneficiary to obtain legal ownership of the asset, it will be necessary to submit the holographic will to the appropriate probate court and obtain its authorization to effect the transfer. Furthermore, where a testator disposes of an asset by holographic will, the asset is chargeable with the payment of the testator’s debts. In our firm’s experience, holographic wills are challenged in probate court with greater frequency than last wills and testaments prepared by an attorney.

We wish our clients and community safety and health during this time, in particular the most vulnerable, and we continue to stand ready to assist with your needs, questions, and concerns.

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