When it comes to the laws governing wills, they are fairly similar among all states. In regard to the states of Nevada and California, the state’s share commonalities in their general guiding principles of wills, but the states do differ in some of their legal provisions. If you are located in Nevada and need assistance with writing a will, contact Reno’s estate planning attorneys at Carlson & Work today.


In Nevada, the testator of a will must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. Nevada recognizes holographic (written) wills, as long as the content of the will, the signature, and the date on the will are handwritten by the testator. Nuncupative (oral) wills are not valid in Nevada. The state of Nevada requires two witnesses to be present when the testator signs the will. The witnesses of the will are not allowed to be given anything in the will. Self-proved wills, meaning that the witnesses do not have to testify in probate court if a self-proving affidavit is attached to the will and signed by the witnesses, are recognized in Nevada as well. A will that is made in Nevada is valid in California. A Nevada will can be revoked by physical destruction, meaning burning, tearing, or obliterating the will.

Nevada vs California wills estate planning attorneys reno nv
Nevada Vs. California Wills


Like Nevada, the state of California requires the testator of a will to be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. California also accepts holographic wills under the same conditions as Nevada grants that type of will. California also does not recognize nuncupative wills. Similar to Nevada, California requires two witnesses to be present at the signing of the will, and the witnesses cannot be given anything in the will. Self-proven wills are also recognized in California. A will that is made in California is valid in Nevada. California wills can be revoked in the same way as a Nevada will, through the physical destruction of the will.


If you are located in the Reno, Nevada area and have interest in writing or updating your will, contact Carlson & Work today at 775-386-2226. Our experienced estate planning attorneys will guide you through the process.

Reno Estate Planning Options

  • Revocable living trust
  • Irrevocable Living Trusts
  • Last Will and testament
  • Powers of attorney
  • Living Wills
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