By Lidia G. Rincon, Esq.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines “Holographic Will” as “One that is entirely written, dated, and signed by hand of the testator himself.”
Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 133.090 defines “Holographic Will” as “A will in which the signature, date and material provisions are written by the hand of the testator, whether or not it is witnessed or notarized.”
Nevada law, like many other states in the United States, recognizes holographic wills as valid, lawful document for the purpose of disposing one’s estate upon death, so long as the document complies with the law. The complete NRS 133.090 states the following:
- A holographic will is a will in which the signature, date and material provisions are written by the hand of the testator, whether or not it is witnessed or notarized. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of this State.
- Every person of sound mind over the age of 18 years may, by last holographic will, dispose of all of the estate, real or persona, but the estate is chargeable with the payment of the testator’s debts.
- Such wills are valid and have the same force and effect as if formally executed.
It is important to understand that a holographic will is not the same as a will created with a do-it-yourself will kit readily available online, at book stores, or from office supply vendors. A major difference between a hand-written holographic will and a will prepared with a do-it-yourself will kit is that the former does not require that the testator sign the document in front of witnesses or that the document be notarized. This is an important distinction and exemption that has proved to be beneficial during these trying times when many of us remain isolated. Having a will, albeit a holographic one, is better than not having a will at all.
Of course, if you prefer to have a formal will prepared, this writer encourages you to consult with an estate planning attorney or with your friends at Nevada Legal Services. For our friends in the counties beyond Washoe, appointments can be set up through your local senior center. As always, Nevada Legal Services continues to provide free consultations and no cost legal services. Like I always say, when you want a will, there is a way. Stay safe!
 No cost legal services are available to eligible individuals and seniors. An intake is required to determine eligibility.