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Making a Will: Introduction

Reviewed 2/7/2019


Making a will is one of several steps in estate planning. Requirements for creating a valid will vary for each state and are usually found in the state statutes.  In New Hampshire, requirements for creating a valid will are given in RSA 551.  

One of the most frequently asked questions at the law library is "where can I find a form for a will?" There are New Hampshire will forms that are free and created by New Hampshire lawyers but they are available in print sources, not online. If you use a commercial online product to create a will, you must check to be sure that it conforms to New Hampshire law. 

Is a holographic will valid in New Hampshire?

"A holographic will is a handwritten will that does not meet the attestation requirements of RSA 551:2. For example, the will may have been signed by only 1 witness or no witnesses at all. While holographic wills are recognized in some states, they are not recognized in New Hampshire, despite widespread belief that such wills are valid." (see Estate Planning Essentials. p. 77)

Is an oral, or nuncupative, will valid in New Hampshire?  

"A will that is not in writing is generally not valid in New Hampshire. However RSA 551:16 allows a person to bequeath tangible personal property of $100 or less without a writing. [...] The statute provides that tangible personal property in excess of $100 can be bequeathed by nuncupative will in [...] limited circumstances." (see Estate Planning Essentials. p. 77)   


Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ...  is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.