What is a Valid Will?
A will is an important estate planning document. More officially, it is referred to as a Last Will and Testament. A last will and testament is a legal document written by a testator, which contains the testator’s wishes and desires regarding how he wants his estate dealt with after he passes away. In order to ensure your surviving family, relative, special friend or loved one, or even a pet is well taken care of after your death, you have to specify clearly in your will what portion of your asset you want distributed to that person. Also, you would have to appoint an executor who will take responsibility of your will when you die.
If cases where the deceased has minor children, a Will may contains a named candidate to act as a guardian for your children.
Probate of a Will
Last will are always faced with probate before they can be implemented. When you pass away, your family is faced with the challenge of managing and sharing your assets among themselves. This is a delicate, emotional and trying time, when they will be faced with a lot of decisions to make. Leaving them without a Will–a valid one–will make things even more difficult for them. Probate in itself is the legal process of determining the validity of a will before its contents are carried out. Not all Wills are valid. For instance, a Will valid in one state may be invalid in another state. A will attorney would guide you through documenting a valid Will in New York.
A will may be contested. When one or more parties feel that the deceased was forced into signing the will, or that they are being cheated out of their inheritance, such party may issue out a petition of contest of will. Thus, increasing the probate process.
In a case where you pass away without a written will, the Surrogate’s court will pass a judgment of estate administration. Estate administration which is backed by laws of intestacy, is done in a case where there is no valid Last Will of the deceased. The estate will then be distributed among the family and relatives according to these intestate laws, and this will see the estate being distributed against the wishes of the beneficiaries. Intestate Laws vary across different states.
Requirements for writing a will in New York
According to the New York state laws effective in every borough within the state, a will must be written by a person of at least 18 years for the will to have a chance to pass as valid in a New York Probate Court. When signing or acknowledging your will, you must do so in the presence of at least two witnesses, and you must declare to these witnesses that the document you’re signing or acknowledging is indeed your last will. Both witnesses would have to sign in front of you to prove their presence, after which you pen your signature at the bottom.
While you can have your witnesses sign the same time as you, New York state law gives you an ultimatum of 30 days to have your witnesses observe you acknowledging or signing the will.
Also, beneficiaries would have to be named in your will, persons in whose possessions your estate will fall to after your death. A beneficiary could be a person or an organization.
Why you need a Will Attorney New York
You have seen the laws backing writing of wills in New York. If any of these laws is flouted, then your wishes in the will are as good as nothing. Assuming you have a loving friend who you want financially cared for after you die and you state this in your will. If the will doesn’t pass probate, then that loving friend would get nothing from your estate, as intestacy laws in New York only acknowledge your closest relatives as heirs to your estate.
Hence, you do not want to make any mistakes. A Will Attorney New York would, when consulted, offer relevant advice in drafting a will that best satisfies your wishes. Protect the financial future of your loved ones today. Contact a Will Attorney New York.