A will is simply a vehicle for transferring your assets after death. Wills are not appropriate for everyone. For example, trusts are becoming increasingly popular as people’s estates become more complex. If you determine that a will is right for you, Nebraska requirements are fairly simple, but must be followed exactly or your wishes may not be observed after your passing.
Fulfill the age and competency requirements. In Nebraska, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. For the purposes of writing a will, a person will generally be considered of sound mind if she understands the nature and value of her assets and what the will does with those assets.
Make an inventory. Make a list of all of your assets and liabilities. Your assets will include all your real estate and personal property. Include on your list what you think the value of your assets is and where those assets are held or stored. If there is personal property that you would like to see go to a specific friend or relative, note that as well. You will not include the inventory in your will, but it will give you an idea of what your estate looks like and where you would like your assets to go.
Nominate a personal representative. In your will, you will name someone to administer your estate. That is, choose a person who you trust to carry out the wishes in your will.
Allocate your assets. List all of your assets and whom you would like those assets to go to. It is a good idea to include a “catch-all” clause that allocates any assets that you may have forgotten to list in your inventory.
Sign the will. The will is not valid until you have signed it in front of two witnesses. Although not required, it is wise to choose witnesses who do not stand to inherit under the will.
Secure the will. After you have drafted and signed your will, put it in a safe place and let a trusted person know where it is and how to access it after your passing.
Holographic wills, or wills that do not satisfy the formal requirements, are valid in Nebraska but are likely to be challenged in probate and less reliable than standard wills.
A will should only be one part of your entire estate plan. Consider also drafting a living will and durable power of attorney at the same time you are writing your will.
Revisit your will periodically to ensure it still reflects your wishes.
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