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Since 1895, and likely long before that, holographic wills have been valid in Nevada. An holographic will is a will written on a completely blank piece of paper in the testator’s own handwritng, and dated and signed by the testator. (“Testator” or “Testatrix”, depending on his or her sex is the person making a will). In those wild west days there was no easy access to attorneys or notaries. Not all that different from our Coronavirus now. Finding a notary today is difficult and, though some say attorneys are a dime a dozen, going to an attorney’s office can put the testator at risk for Covid-19.


So holographic wills are now back in style. We probated one recently which simply said: “I leave all my worldly possessions to Suzie.” It wasn’t great. It didn’t name an executor or executrix. It didn’t contain any testamentary trusts for minors. It contained no creditor-protection language. But it worked. It was written on a blank piece of paper and dated and signed. Though it was not witnessed, witnesses are only helpful to a holographic will; they are not required.


Holographic wills are discussed in several Nevada Supreme Court cases. A good example is State v. Palm (In re Estate of Melton), 128 Nev. 34, 272 P.3d 668 (2012). The statute is NRS Chapter 133.


The office is operating more or less normally. The receptionist service is working. The employees have the option to work from home but to date (December, 2020) everyone is still coming to the office. The desks and writing areas are wiped down and disinfected regularly. As shown in the following paragraph, Zoom is something of a lifesaver. Many clients prefer it to office visits.


If you would prefer to meet electronically, that is fine with us. We regularly use Zoom for electronic (video or telephonic) meetings. All but the signing can normally be done electronically. Wills need two witnesses, so once the will is finished, and final editing is complete, we offer the client the opportunity to sign the will without getting out of their car. We simply have the witnesses stand 6 feet away and watch the signing. Our Wills are not notarized but we have the witness’ signatures notarized. We have 3 in-house notaries, so normally this process goes very smoothly.

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