Wills and Trusts
Wills and Trusts


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Wills and how it Works

A will is an estate planning document that allows a testator to designate the way in which their property will be distributed upon their death. Generally in most states, which Staten Island is not an exception, the Will must have the following to be valid.

  • The Will must be written and documented.
  • The Will must be signed by the testator.
  • The testator must have testamentary capacity. This means the testator must be above 18 or is legally married. Also, the testator must know that are creating a Will; that the effect of the Will is to distribute their property upon their death; that they understand the properties they are distributing and knows who the intended beneficiaries.

Types of Will

Simple Will

A simple will is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about a last will and testament. It is a written will drafted for a simple estate with uncomplicated assets, specifying where such assets will go at the death of the testator (the creator of the will).

Pour-over Will

A pour-over will becomes greatly important when you create a trust and transfer some — but not all — of your assets into the trust. A pour-over will is created by the trust maker during his lifetime, to transfer the remaining assets which were not included in the trust, into the trust at his death. The assets thus transferred are subject to the terms of the trust. It may be used alongside a living trust to hold assets which could not be transferred into the living trust. The pour-over will only become effective after the death of the testator.

Holographic Will

A Holographic will is a handwritten will that was not witnessed by anybody at the time it was written. It just requires that the Will is witnessed and signed by the testator.

Nuncupative Will

A nuncupative will is also known as an oral will, that is, spoken and not written. Most states also do not accept an oral will but for it to be valid in Long Island, the oral will must have been made by a mariner at sea or a military personnel serving at a time of war. However, at least three persons must attest to have witnessed the testator uttering the words of the oral will.

Notarizing a Will

The answer is no. Notarizing your legal will Long Island does not give it validity. The primary purpose of notarizing a will is to give the will a self-proving character such that once the Surrogate’s court sees it, they will require no further proof of its authenticity. To do this, you have to visit a notary along with your witnesses and sign an affidavit, stating who you are and your mental awareness while writing the will.

Naming an executor

This is one of the provisions made in a legal will Long Island. You are mandated to name an executor who would initiate probate immediately after your death, oversee the probate and distribute your assets among your named beneficiaries. The executor has a lot pf responsibilities and you definitely would require a trusted and highly competent hand. An estate planning attorney or probate lawyer would offer you advice and enlighten you on choosing an executor, and may also be consulted by the executor in administering the estate.

How to Revoke a Will

Yes. You can revoke a will by tearing, burning, cutting or mutilating it, or having someone else do it for you in your presence and two other witnesses. You can then write a new will according to the same laws as above. If you do not want to tear, burn or mutilate, you could simply write a new will that clearly states that you’re revoking the former will. If you have very little changes to make, instead of doing the above, you could simply add an amendment — a codicil — to the already existing legal will.

When to consult a Will Lawyer in Long Island

Some situations other than creating a Will may require that you see a professional will lawyer, rather than handling them by yourself.

You may want to talk to a Will lawyer:

  • You have questions about how to draft and prepare your will or you require other options to share, protect your estate, properties and also beneficiaries of such.
  • You expect to leave a very large amount of assets that may be subjected to excessive estate tax.
  • You have complex family situations, probably one than one marriages, and children from different spouses.
  • Rather than just drafting an ordinary will, you want to make more complex plans. For instance, placing your house in a trust to your spouse until he or she dies and then passing it to your children from a different spouse or marriage.

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