For most people, death is an uncomfortable topic to think about or plan for. However, strategizing for what will happen to your estate after you have passed is incredibly important. A Last Will and Testament allows you to decide what will happen with your assets after your death and who will be legally in charge of the estate. In order to ensure your wishes are respected, it is important that you understand what makes a will valid in New York.
Fratello Law is a New York law firm with experience helping clients who are looking to ensure that their will is legally valid. Our trusted lawyers can help you enter into this important process and ensure that your wishes are protected after you have passed. We are a small firm with a big heart that focuses on building high-quality relationships with each client with whom we work.
What Are the Requirements to Make a Will Valid in New York State?
The State of New York has strict requirements that must be fulfilled in order for a will to be considered legally valid. Failure to ensure that these requirements are met may result in the court rejecting your will as valid. If this were to occur, the state will look at the scenario as if you never created a will in the first place. In this case, your wishes will not be considered and your estate would be distributed in accordance with New York’s intestacy statute which is likely not your desired outcome. The requirements for a will to be considered legally valid in the State of New York are as follows:
- The drafter of the will must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind
- The will must be in writing
- The will must be signed by the testator, or drafter, and witnessed by two individuals who must be at least 18 years of age
- The witnesses must not be beneficiaries under the will
If you are unsure if your will is valid according to the requirements set forth by the State of New York, a trusted estate planning lawyer will be able to help.
Are There Any Exceptions to the Requirements for a Will to Be Valid?
There are very few exceptions to the requirements stated above. However, sometimes a will is not written down or is completely handwritten and has no witnesses. These are valid under certain circumstances, such as a will written by a member of the armed forces during armed conflict or by a mariner while at sea.
Contact a New York Wills Lawyer Today
Fratello Law is a New York law firm with experience helping a variety of clients who are looking for assistance with their estate planning. It is crucial that you get the help of one of our legal professionals as you get ready to enter into this important process that will protect your wishes after you have passed. We may be a small firm, but we have a big heart and focus on building high-quality relationships with our clients. For a no cost initial consultation, contact us here or call (516) 321-4010.