While the process to make a will online is similar in every state, there are differences. Each U.S. state has its own distinct requirements for making a will. There are very specific state statutes that you have to follow when you make a will, otherwise the court may determine the will invalid. When you make a will in Nebraska, you want to familiarize yourself with the requirements set forth by the state. To make an online will, you want to use an online will template that is customized for Nebraska.
Can I Make a Will Online in Nebraska?
Yes, you can make a will online in Nebraska. Anyone 18 years of age or older, who is of sound mind, can make a will in Nebraska (and anyone who can make a will can also make a will online). To do so, we recommend the online will making service USLegalWills which delivered the highest quality online will for Nebraska.
For a will, made online or otherwise, to be valid in Nebraska, it must meet the following legal requirements:
- It must be in writing.
- It must be signed by the Testator (the person making the will).
- It must be signed by two witnesses, each of whom either witnessed the signing or the Testator’s acknowledgement of their signature. Each witness must sign in the Testator’s presence.
After making an online will, you must print it out. There are a few states that allow digital-only wills; however, the state of Nebraska does not currently allow digital-only wills. A paper copy with physical signatures is required.
Any adult person generally competent to be a witness may also act as a witness to a will. You should choose “disinterested” people to act as your witnesses—that is, people who are not beneficiaries in your will. While having a witness who is also an “interested party” does not invalidate your will in Nebraska, unless there is at least one “disinterested” witness, an “interested” witness is entitled to only receive an inheritance that equals the amount they would receive as their intestate share (what they would receive if the Testator died without a will).
To avoid legal complications, it is best to have both witnesses be “disinterested.”
Does Nebraska Require a Notarized Will?
No, Nebraska does not require a notarized will. Like many other states, Nebraska does allow for a will to be “self-proved.”
To make a will “self-proved” in Nebraska, you and both your witnesses have to make sworn statements attesting to the validity of the will in front of a notary public. It is these statements that are notarized, which you then attach to your will. Once your will is considered “self-proved,” the probate process to validate your will happens much quicker.
Witnesses to a “self-proved” will are not required to testify in court. The sworn statements made before the notary are the same as though they were made before the court. The court then can automatically accept a “self-proved” will as authentic.
Can I Name an Executor in Nebraska?
Yes, you can name an executor. When you make a will in Nebraska, whether made online or otherwise, you can name the executor for your estate. You can name multiple people as executors, to act either as substitutes should someone not be able to or to act as co-executors. An executor is the person designated to settle the estate, making sure the will is followed. It is a good idea to name an executor, as if one is not named in the will, the probate court will appoint someone. This can cause delays in the probate process. You want to pick someone trustworthy to serve as the executor of your estate, someone you know who will be able to handle all the duties of an executor. You will want to discuss this with them before naming them in your will.
Here are the requirements for an executor in Nebraska:
- The person must be 19 years old.
- The person be of sound mind, not having been judged incapacitated by a court.
Unlike many other states, Nebraska has no statutes that prohibit a person who has been convicted of a felony to serve as an executor.
Nebraska also does not impose any special conditions to name an executor who lives out-of-state.
Do I Need an Attorney to Make a Will in Nebraska?
No, you do not need an attorney to make a will in Nebraska. Of course, if you have a large or complex estate, it is always best to consult an estate planning attorney. But in most cases, for those with simple estates and uncomplicated wills, online will making is a good option. When you make an online will, you want to make sure you follow the legal requirements for a will to be valid specific to Nebraska. You should choose an online will making service that has templates customized for the state.
What Types of Wills Are Valid in Nebraska?
Any type of will which meets the federal and state-specific requirements is valid in Nebraska, whether the will is made online or not.
Can I Make a Holographic Will in Nebraska?
A holographic will is a handwritten last will and testament, written and signed only by the Testator. Nebraska does recognize holographic wills. A holographic will is valid if the signature, all the material provisions, and an indication of a date (the court may allow the absence of one if other conditions are met) are all in the Testator’s handwriting.
It is important to note that holographic wills often face delays when presented to probate. It has to be determined valid, through witnesses that can attest to the handwriting; it may also be rejected if important provisions are missing or if there is unclear language.
To avoid legal complications, it is better to write and execute a will with attesting witnesses.
Can I Make a Nuncupative or Video Will in Nebraska?
A nuncupative will is an oral will, sometimes left on video. In any state, a nuncupative will is considered a last resort type of will. If you are facing imminent death and do not have a will in place, leaving an nuncupative will is better than leaving no instructions at all.
However, Nebraska does not recognize nuncupative wills. If all heirs and beneficiaries agree to the terms left in a nuncupative will, it may be accepted by the court. Otherwise, leaving a nuncupative will in Nebraska is the same as if you died without a will in the eyes of the court. To avoid long legal delays when settling the estate, a legally binding will is a much better option.
How Is a Living Will Different from an Online Will in Nebraska?
A living will, also called an advance directive, is a legal document different from a last will and testament. A last will and testament and a living will are two separate documents with two distinct purposes. A living will contains medical directives and end-of-life care whereas a last will and testament contains matters relating to a person’s estate.
A living will, if made valid, is a legally binding document. There are requirements for it to be valid. You can make both a living will and a last will and testament online. To find more information on living wills in Nebraska, you can go here.
In Nebraska, these are the requirements for a living will:
- You must be an adult.
- It must be signed (whether notarized or by witnesses).
- It must be dated.
It is important that you tell your family and medical providers that you have a living will. It is your responsibility to make sure everyone knows, otherwise it might not be followed.
Why Do I Need to Make a Will Online in Nebraska?
If someone dies without a will, it is known as dying intestate. Every state has intestacy laws that determine what happens to property owned by someone who died intestate. The state also has to appoint guardians for any minor children and appoint someone as the executor of your estate. The estate will be divided between surviving family members according to the intestacy distribution laws of Nebraska—if you are married without children, your entire estate goes to your surviving spouse. If you have more than one child but are not married, if your parents survive you and you have no spouse—so on and so forth. If the state determines you have no surviving family, it will take ownership of your property. This can become a lengthy, complex legal process. It is not unheard of for property of those who died without a will to be held up in the probate process for months or even years at a time.
Property held by the individual who died will often be held up in the probate court process for months at a time.
If you want to decide how to distribute your estate, name guardians for any minor children, or name an executor, then you should make a will. Making a will means you have more control over how your estate is disbursed, and it is important to have a will if you have any minor children. You can also include other family members or friends in a will that would not stand to inherit through intestacy laws.
What Can I Include in an Online Will in Nebraska?
In addition to naming an executor for your estate, you can also include the following when you make a will in Nebraska:
- Designate a guardian for minor children.
- Designate a trusted person to oversee any property left to minor children.
- Leave property or gifts to other family, individuals, charities, or organizations.
- Choose a trusted person to care for remaining pets.
- Distribute family heirlooms and sentimental items.
- Distribute other personal or sentimental items.
What Should Not Be Included in a Will in Nebraska?
A last will and testament is not the right place for designating end-of-life care, medical directives, or funeral instructions. Typically, after someone dies, the funeral is arranged immediately. The will is generally not consulted until the process for settling the estate begins. If funeral directions are left in the will, your family might not know about your wishes until after the funeral.
Any medical directives or end-of-life care left in a will, instead of a living will, are not effective. To ensure medical directions or end-of-life care stipulations are followed, you want to create a living will.
For funeral directions, you can simply discusss your desires with family members—if you want, you can also write a separate document that describes your wishes, so that your family has something to refer back to when planning your funeral. You should give this to trusted people or the executor of your estate.
Can I Change or Revoke an Online Will Made in Nebraska?
Creating a will, whether online or not, is a legally binding document. But you can change or revoke your will at any time.
In Nebraska, you can change or revoke a will by:
- Burning, tearing, canceling, obliterating, or destroying the will with the intention of revoking it.
- Ordering someone else physically destroy it in front of you, or
- Making a new will that explicitly revokes the old one or that contains contradictory terms to the old one.
It’s a good idea to update the will after major life changes, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, adoption, or acquisition of significant assets which change the distribution of property, or relocation to another state or country. To make only minor changes to a will, add an amendment called a codicil. A codicil must be finalized in the same way that the original will is finalized.
How Do I Finalize an Online Will in Nebraska?
If you make an online will, you must print it out. To then finalize your will in Nebraska, you must:
- Sign it or acknowledge your signature in front of two witnesses, and
- Have the two witnesses sign it in front of you.
To make a will in Nebraska “self-proved,” you and your witnesses have to make sworn statements attesting to the authenticity of the will in front of a notary public. Attach these notarized statements to your will.
Be sure to consider these special considerations in Nebraska:
- Nebraska allows small estates to skip probate. Estates that are worth less than $50,000 are allowed to be filed as a small estate and can skip probate.
- Divorce automatically revokes any language in a will that leaves property to your former spouse (as well as revokes the as executor if you named them as such).
- Nebraska is one of only six states that employs an inheritance tax.
We recommend USLegalWills to make a will online in Nebraska. Comprehensive service at affordable prices, with an option for secure storage and unlimited free updates to your last will and testament. See their pricing and will details here.