A last will and testament is a legal document meant to control property and wealth after the death of the owner. The will expresses the intentions of the owner; it contains the wishes for the distribution of the wealth that he or she controlled at the end of a lifetime. The law treats the will with a certain kind of solemn respect. Probate is the process of proving the will as the authentic document to carry out the decedent’s intentions. If you are an heir or recipient under a Nevada will, you should consider consulting a Las Vegas probate attorney for more information.
What makes a Will Valid?
There are some basic requirements for a valid will in Nevada law. The person making the will must act of free will, be of sound mind, and understand the nature of property and the act of giving it to other persons. The will must have witnesses, be in writing, and signed by the maker, also called the testator.
Who can challenge a will in Nevada?
The question of who can challenge a will is answered by the legal question of standing to sue. A person must have a connection to the will that is sufficient for the court to recognize a right to take part in the proceeding. Standing is broad, and nearly anyone with a connection to the property or the person can qualify.
Standing Plus Grounds
If a person has standing, then they must show grounds to challenge the will. The law has recognized certain grounds for challenging a will. In Nevada law, one must claim and then prove one or more of the below-listed grounds.
- Testator lacked mental capacity
- Testator was under an undue influence
- The will was invalid due to improper execution
Nevada Will Contest
Some wills have a clause that disqualifies anyone from getting their share of property if they challenge the will. In terrorem clauses are not enforceable in most states. Nevada is not one of those jurisdictions, and in Nevada a no contest clause is enforceable. An heir that challenges a will with a no contest clause can lose his or her inheritance. The no contest clause is not completely protected; Nevada courts will limit them when the challenge has a good faith basis. Nevada law of wills is complex, and most people will benefit from legal advice and assistance.
An experienced Las Vegas probate attorney will help resolve questions about Nevada wills. Please call the law offices of Sean Tanko or visit online today.