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North Dakota Last Will and Testament

North Dakota Last Will and Testament


Jennifer Mcgee


Updated on  

January 25, 2023

9 mins


Many people conjure up a room full of lawyers and long bills when they hear about a North Dakota last will and testament. It may have been like this in the past when people didn't have access to online resources. However, it's pretty simple now. You can even create your will within minutes, following all the requirements. It would be much easier and more efficient to handle your estate and affairs. Make your online last will now and manage your estate planning. 

The states have different requirements to make a legal and enforceable last will. If you're from North Dakota, here is what you should follow.

Requirements for a North Dakota Last Will and Testament 

  • Written will: The North Dakota last will and testament must be on paper to be legal. North Dakota doesn't allow audio, video, digital, or electronic wills. North Dakota accepts self-written or holographic wills.
  • Must be of at least 18 age or a married minor
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator for a North Dakota last will must understand the will procedure, nature of their estate, and beneficiaries. For their last will to be valid, they must have a sound mind and memory.
  • Signed by the testator: To make it legal, you must sign your North Dakota last will and testament before your two witnesses.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have at least two witnesses for the will. They should acknowledge and sign the will within a reasonable time. You can also acknowledge the will before a notary. 
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“Should have done this before, had made it up to be really hard in my head. This was super easy!”

Who can be your witnesses for a North Dakota Last Will and Testament? 

Your witnesses for a North Dakota last will must follow these conditions:

  • A North Dakota witness can be anyone who is generally competent for the job.
  • They should be able to testify about what they saw and the will-making process.
  • You can select beneficiaries as your witnesses in North Dakota. However, your will may easily be contested.

North Dakota rules for a personal representative or an executor 

Choosing an executor for your North Dakota last will would be better than leaving it to uncertainty. However, an executor should follow these guidelines to be eligible for the role:

  1. The executor must be an adult.
  2. Capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. North Dakota doesn't restrict people convicted of a felony from being executors.
  4. North Dakota allows you to choose someone out of state as your executor.
Last will and Testament North Dakota 

Last will and Testament Notarization in North Dakota 

There's no need to notarize your North Dakota last will and testament. However, you should add a self-proving affidavit to the last will to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a self-proving affidavit for the will. 
  • You and the witnesses must go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you know you're signing a will.

You could also notarize the will if you don't want to use witnesses. 

North Dakota Last Will Revocation 

You could follow any of the following methods to revoke your North Dakota last will and testament:

  • Destroy your last will by tearing, burning, obliterating, and shredding.
  • Making a new legal will that revokes any part or the entire previous will.
  • Asking someone else to destroy the will.

What if you have more than one North Dakota will?

If it's not clear whether your North Dakota will revoke the old one, the state will follow these rules:

  • It'll replace the old will if the new one has varying or contradictory terms to your previous North Dakota will.
  • The probate court assumes you wanted to revoke the previous will if the new one disposes of your entire estate.
  • If the new will doesn't dispose of the entire estate, it would be treated as a supplement to the old North Dakota will.

North Dakota Last Will Amendment Rules 

If you wish to make some minor and simple changes to your North Dakota last will, you can do it through a Codicil. It will allow you to introduce changes to your existing will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same guidelines to make a legal codicil as for an original will. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to make a new will that revokes the previous one.

North Dakota rules for divorce after making your last will

  • North Dakota law revokes any gift you leave to your spouse.
  • Revokes any appointment of your spouse as the trustee or executor 
  • However, the provisions will stand if you state otherwise in your North Dakota will or remarry your ex.

What happens if you don't have a will in North Dakota?


What happens 

Has children, no spouse 

Children inherit everything 

Has a spouse, no children, no parents 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has parents, no children, no spouse 

Parents inherit everything 

Has siblings, no parents, no children, no spouse 

Siblings inherit everything 

Has a spouse and children (Children you share with that spouse)

The spouse has no other children 

Spouse inherits everything 

Has a spouse and children 

(Children you share with that spouse)

The spouse has children from another relationship 

Spouse gets the first $225,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance 

Children inherit the balance 

Has a spouse and children 

(Children you share with someone else)

Spouse gets the first $150,000 of your estate and one-half of the balance 

Children inherit the balance

Has a spouse and parents 

Spouse gets the first $300,000 of your estate and three-fourths of the balance 

Parents inherit the balance

Last Will and Testament North Dakota Free Template

You can quickly create a simple estate plan by downloading a Last Will and Testament North Dakota free template. It will be the best option if you don't have a large estate or complicated finances. You could check out the template and follow the necessary requirements to make your new North Dakota last will and testament. Once you go through the details and follow the required steps:

  1. Connect on TrulyWill and create your account.
  2. Discuss any issues or complications about your finances and personal relationships with our attorneys.
  3. Sign or notarize the document, depending on your state requirements. 

This template and sample last will and testament would allow you to examine what your will would look like. You can change the will template depending on your personal preferences for estate distribution. 

Some instances where it would be prudent to consult our experts before finalizing your will would be when you have a high net worth or complicated family and personal relationships. We also provide additional services for those unique requests:

  • Online expert support: You can connect with our experts online and clear your doubts.
  • Attorney support: For some specific and unique requirements, we also offer additional attorney support services for your will and trust.

If you're facing any of these issues, it's essential to consult an expert before proceeding. They could personally help you out with any doubts and create a solid and legally enforceable North Dakota last will and testament. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a lawyer to make my last will and testament?

There's generally no need to get a lawyer to make your will. You could use an online platform and easily make it within minutes. Only some special cases, like complex family relations, may require you to consult an attorney.

Does my will dispose of all my assets?

A will would only dispose of the assets mentioned in it. You could decide which assets go to whom. However, it's always better to mention all your assets.

Can my last will and testament be oral?

Only a few states consider an oral will legal only if it follows the rules. You would have to fulfill some criteria the state sets to be eligible to make an oral will. However, you shouldn't risk this to chance and create a solid, legal will on paper.

What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?

If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.

What would it cost me to make a will?

Depending on your location and estate, the cost varies between $500 to $1000 if you hire a lawyer. However, you can use the TrulyWill platform to create a legal and valid will at a fraction of this price.
Jennifer Mcgee
Parent to five young children. Expert in Estate Planning, Probate, and Family Law Matters. Volunteer with Victim’s Advocates in the local sheriff's department...
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Jennifer Mcgree
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