When you write a Nevada will, it must be witnessed by at least two people. If you are writing your own will (and you shouldn’t be), who would you want to be involved more than family members to act as those witnesses?
Before you have your loved ones certify your will, keep in mind that this may create problems you had not thought about. By law, anyone who stands to inherit under your will must not be a witness. This includes not just your spouse and children but also any siblings, aunts, uncles and even friends.
A witness is attesting to your state of mind when the Will was made. They are telling the courts that, to their knowledge, you weren’t be coerced, you weren’t under duress and you were thinking clearly when you decided how your assets would be distributed.
Let’s say that someone decides to contest that will after you’re gone. If Uncle Bob gets the greatest share of the estate and is also a witness to the will, who’s to say he didn’t influence your decision regarding how the assets should be distributed? Or someone could claim that Uncle Bob found information that could be embarrassing and threatened you with it.
To remedy this, you should always choose witnesses that have absolutely no interest in your will. This means that not only should Uncle Bob not be a witness but Uncle Bob’s girlfriend shouldn’t play the part either. The more neutral the witnesses, the better chance you’ll have of the courts enforcing your will in a contest.
To learn more about writing a will and why you should be cautious about who you choose to witness your will, get in touch with an estate lawyer. The estate planning lawyers at Anderson, Dorn & Rader are here to guide you but not persuade you in any which way. Consider choosing your lawyer as a witness to your will!