Do You Need an Attorney to Write a Will?

Do you need an attorney to write a will in New York? That depends on your unique wishes. If you’re debating whether you do need an attorney to write a will, please read on, then contact an experienced Putnam County wills attorney to ensure your wishes are honored.

Do I need an attorney to write a will in New York?

The short answer is no. The state of New York does not legally require you to hire an attorney to write a Will or engage in estate planning. To meet the definition of a Will, it must be a written document that states it is your Will. You must date and sign it in front of two witnesses. You should not otherwise mention these witnesses in the Will. Nor do you need to inform these witnesses of said Will’s content, only that you told them what the document contained and they saw you sign it. They must sign the document at the bottom and place their addresses after their signatures to complete the formality. You don’t even need a notary. After you have signed and dated it, place the Will in a safe and accessible location until it is needed.

Why should I hire an attorney to draft my will?

Because you will have so many complex legal eventualities to consider, an estate planning professional can help with the following:

  • What property to include in your Will
  • Which people or organizations will inherit your property
  • Who will serve as executor to handle your estate
  • Naming the trustee for the properties you leave your children
  • Designating the personal guardian of your minor children

What happens if I don’t have a Will?

In New York, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to state intestacy laws. Under these intestacy laws, the state will give your property to your closest relatives, beginning with your spouse and children. If you have neither a spouse nor children, your grandchildren or your parents will receive your property. The list continues with increasingly distant relatives, including siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, great-grandchildren and great-nieces and -nephews. If the court exhausts this list and finds that you have no living relatives by blood or marriage, the state will take your property. If, for whatever private reasons, these are not your wishes, you would be well advised to employ the services of a competent Putnam County Estate Planning Attorney. We will ensure your property reaches its next rightful owner.

Contact our Firm

If you or a loved one needs assistance creating an estate plan and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact the Law Office of Andres D. Gil, PLLC today.

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