As we are in a digital era, it is unsurprising that we can now make activities involving important life decisions electronically. Whether attending a virtual job interview or renewing your driver’s license online, accomplishing things online has saved many people time, energy and resources.
One of the many things you can create online is your will. While only a handful of U.S. states allow electronic wills at the time of writing this blog, Nevada is one of the states that accept electronic wills.
What makes a valid electronic will?
Under Nevada’s law on wills, the testator, who must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind, can create and maintain their will in an electronic record. Moreover, the digital document should contain the creation date, the testator’s signature and at least one of the following:
- One of the testator’s unique characteristics to authenticate the will, examples of which are a fingerprint, facial or voice recognition or video recording
- A notary public’s electronic signature and seal, placed on the will in the presence of the testator
- Two or more attesting witnesses’ electronic signatures, placed on the will in the presence of the testator
For the last two bullet points, the testator must place their electronic signature in the presence of the notary public and witnesses.
Do the signees have to be physically present?
No. The notary public may notarize the testator’s or witnesses’ electronic signatures even if they are not in the physical presence of the notary. The same goes for persons witnessing the testator’s signature. The electronic will is valid as long as all the involved signees clearly communicate through audio and video connections.
While electronic wills are not as common as regular wills, knowing that they are an option keeps a wide range of available choices for testators during estate planning.