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North Dakota Wills Laws

A will is the most common estate planning document that all individuals should create regardless of their financial status. A will is a set of instructions the personal representative to follow to settle your estate when you die. A will should identify when, how, and to whom your assets should be disposed of and how your business affairs should be addressed, if applicable. In addition, a will is a helpful tool to name a guardian for minor or disabled adult child.

State laws regulate what constitutes a valid will, witness requirements, whether oral wills are valid, and so on. If you die without a will, your estate is handled in probate court, which is often complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.

Additional details about North Dakota law with respect to wills are listed in the following chart. See FindLaw's Wills section for more articles and resources.

Explanation of Chart and More Information on Wills Laws

Code Section 30.1-08-01, et seq.
Age of Testator Any adult who is of sound mind
Number of Witnesses Signed by at least two persons, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing either the signing of the will or the testator's acknowledgment of signature or of will.
Nuncupative (Oral Wills) Not recognized
Holographic Wills Valid as a holographic will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.
Separate Writing in Regards to Certain Types of Tangible Property Whether or not the provisions relating to holographic wills apply, a will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must be signed by the testator and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty.  

Note: State laws may change at any time through the enactment of new legislation or voter-approved ballot initiatives, decisions from higher courts, or other means. You may want to contact a North Dakota estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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