Electronic Wills & Trust Nevada

Explore the intricacies of Electronic Wills & Trusts in Nevada with our comprehensive legal guide. Understand the laws, processes, and how our law firm can assist in your estate planning.

Navigating Electronic Wills & Trusts in Nevada: A Legal Guide

In the past, a person’s last will and testament or trust document would only be valid if physically made and signed with the testator’s (the person who made the will) handwritten signature in the presence of two witnesses.

However, in recent times, electronic wills and trusts are now recognized in some U.S. states, including Nevada.

Electronic wills and trusts must still comply with statutory provisions to be enforceable and effective. If you’re considering making any of these documents in Las Vegas, speak with Las Vegas probate lawyers to ensure that your will conforms to the requirements of Nevada law.

Our experienced estate planning and probate lawyers at Wood Law Group can explain the legal requirements and how they may affect your case in detail. But for now, please read on for a general overview of how electronic wills and trusts work in Nevada.

Understanding Electronic Wills in Nevada: Definition and Legal Requirements

An electronic will is a will that is made, signed, and stored in electronic or digital format.

By the Nevada revised statutes (NRS 133.085), any person at least 18 years old and of sound mind can execute a valid electronic will to distribute their assets after death. However, the will must the following legal requirements to be valid;

  • It must be created and maintained in an electronic record.
  • It must contain the date, electronic signature of the testator, and any of the following:
    • The testator’s authentication characteristic. An authentication characteristic is a person’s unique trait that is capable of measurement or recognition in an electronic record. It could be a biological aspect of the person, such as their fingerprint, or a record of a physical act performed by them, such as voice or facial recognition.
    • A notary public’s electronic signature and electronic seal placed on the will in the testator’s presence, and in whose presence the testator placed their electronic signature;
    • Electronic signatures of at least two attesting witnesses placed on the will in the testator’s presence and in whose presence the testator placed their electronic signature on the will.

    An electronic will that fails to meet these standards cannot be used as an instrument to distribute the testator’s assets and cannot be enforced in court. It is as good as not having a will. So, it is important that you seek legal counsel before creating an electronic will to ensure that it complies with the legal requirements.

    When Is an Electronic Will Self-Proving?

    Self-proving wills in Nevada are wills that can be validated or authenticated without going through the Las Vegas Probate Court or any other probate court in the state as long as they meet certain legal conditions.

    Usually, a probate court must first determine that a will is authentic and, indeed, the last will and testament of the testator before the will can be executed. This is usually done by calling witnesses and examining evidence in a series of long court procedures/hearings, which could delay the administration/distribution of the testator’s estate.

    A self-proving will is a shortcut that helps avoid such lengthy procedures since the will or documents attached to it already prove that it is authentic and valid.

    An electronic will executed in Nevada is considered self-proving if it meets the following legal requirements:

    • Authenticating affidavits or declarations made by the attesting witnesses are incorporated as part of the electronic will, attached to it, or can logically be associated with it;
    • The will appoints a qualified custodian to maintain custody of its electronic record and
    • The electronic will must be in the custody of a qualified custodian at all times before being reduced to a certified paper original.

    Electronic Trusts in Nevada: Legal Requirements

    A trust is a legal arrangement that allows the creator, also known as the settlor, to transfer their assets to another individual or legal entity to benefit named beneficiaries.

    Trusts are administered according to the terms of the trust document or instrument, which used to be written and executed on paper in the past. But now, like with electronic wills, Nevada law allows trusts to be executed electronically.

    An electronic trust in Nevada is valid as long as it meets the following legal requirements:

    • It is created and kept in an electronic record in such a way that any alteration to the said document can be detected;

    • It contains the electronic signature of the settlor and the date and time when the trust was made;

    • It includes an authentication method that is attached to the trust instrument or logically associated with it to identify the settlor, or it is notarized electronically in accordance with the law;

    • It is subject to the provisions of the Electronic Transactions Uniform Act and

    • It meets all other requirements of a valid trust.

    There are different types of trusts for different purposes. So, even if you choose to create an electronic trust, the trust must also comply with the specific legal requirements for that kind of trust in addition to the above statutory requirements so that it can fulfill its purpose.

    Furthermore, an electronic trust may be reduced to a paper document. However, there are legal conditions to be fulfilled in such cases. An experienced trust attorney can explain those requirements and how to comply with them if you wish to have a paper copy of your electronic trust.

    How the Wood Law Group Can Assist

    When drafting an electronic will or trust, you need to comprehensively understand the entire body of laws associated with both legal instruments. Otherwise, it is easy to make fundamental mistakes that could invalidate them.

    The good news is you don’t have to handle the process on your own. The experienced and competent lawyers at Wood Law Group offer top-notch legal services when it comes to drafting and creating traditional and electronic wills, trusts, and other estate-planning documents.

    We are committed to helping you document your wishes for your assets, your loved ones, or your future and ensuring that they can be followed or enforced even in your absence.

    Our personalized approach means that we do not just draft a document by filling in the blanks and handing it to our clients. We take our time to interview our clients and explain the implications of what they intend to help them make informed choices and achieve the best possible results.

    Contact us now for help with your estate planning, administration, or probate matters. Let us work together to help you organize your assets and put your affairs in order.