I want to sign a Nevada mutual will. Nevada, because both my husband and I are Nevada legal residents.
But right now we are spending time with our kids and grandkids in NY. Is it OK to have the form notarized by a notary in New York or do we have to have it notarized by a Nevadan notary?
1 Answer from Attorneys
In order for a "form" will to be legally enforceable in Nevada, it must be witnessed by two disinterested persons, not by a notary public. Also, there really is no such thing as a "mutual" will, as a will is a deeply personal thing to be entered by an individual. To make a will that labels both spouses as testators would cause great problems, as when the first spouse passes on, the will would become irrevocable and life changes that occur for the surviving spouse could not be accommodated. You EACH need a will.
In sum, too many people rely on claims of online document sources that try to make "one size fits all" papers to be honored by all states' laws. It simply is impractical in most cases, because estate planning law varies from state to state, and there is no such thing as a complete and fully enforceable will or other estate planning form that is good in every state.
My suggestion is that you talk with a competent Nevada lawyer when you return home from your visits. In the meantime, you and your husband could each sit down and hand-write your wishes for your property when you pass on, then sign and date the document - each of you signing your own written document - then leave it in a safe place with one of the kids or other secure location where it can be accessed by those you might leave behind. It should nave NO witnesses OR notary. That sounds odd, but is Nevada law on the subject. That is referred to as a "holographic" will and is fully enforceable under Nevada law. It will do during your travels, but should be replaced with a more formal, complete estate plan when you get home.