What Happens if You Die Without Writing a Will in New York?

If you have questions about dying intestate, please read on, then contact an experienced Putnam County wills attorney to learn what happens if you die without writing a will in New York.

What are the consequences of dying without a will in New York State?

If a New York resident dies without writing a will, his or her surviving spouse will inherit the entire probate estate if there are no children or other descendants. If there are descendants, the surviving spouse will get the first fifty thousand dollars and the balance will be divided one-half to the spouse and one-half to the decedent’s descendants. If the decedent has no spouse and no children, the estate will be passed into the hands of the following surviving relatives:

  1. Parents
  2. Siblings
  3. Grandchildren

If the decedent has no surviving family at all, then the property will go to the state of New York. Most likely, you do not wish for that to happen, in which case you should write a will.

How do you ensure you do not die without writing a will in New York?

To write a legitimate will, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Decide what property to include in your will
  2. Decide who will inherit your property
  3. Choose an executor to handle your estate
  4. Choose a guardian for your children
  5. Choose someone to manage children’s property
  6. Make your will
  7. Sign your will in front of witnesses
  8. Store your will safely

While New York state law does not require someone to retain the services of a skilled Putnam County estate planning attorney, you would be well advised to do so.

Why should you consult a Putnam County estate planning attorney when writing your will?

A properly drafted will must contain certain formalities. If requirements are ignored or terms of the will are not clearly drafted in unequivocal language, this may result in extra legal costs, time and stress after your death. For this reason alone, it is best to have your will drafted by a professional who immerses him- or herself in wills and other estate planning matters each and every day. He or she will help ensure that you follow the proper protocols as prescribed by state law, couch it in the clearest, least contestable terms and file it with the appropriate entities. If you ever change your mind about the terms of the will, your attorney can always help you rewrite it to fit your evolving needs. This is too important to leave to chance, so please give us a call today.

Contact our Firm

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

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