What is a Will? | Estate Planning in New York

Many people have heard of a will, but there are many misconceptions when it comes to these documents. Read on to learn more about creating a will in New York.

What is a Will?

A will is a document that declares how your assets will be divided in the event of your passing. In a will, you may include assets such as real estate, bank accounts, securities, and items of personality. It is important to note that you should not put any funeral wishes in your will, as your will may not be read until after the funeral.

Common Misconceptions

Many people believe that only those of a certain net worth need to create a will. This is not true. Anyone with any assets of importance should create a will. Additionally, some believe they do not need to create a will until later in life. In reality, anyone over the age of 18 with assets or property should consider creating a will.

How Do I Create a Will?

Technically, you can write a will on your own. But, it is generally not a good idea. This is because the slightest mistake when creating or filing your will can make it invalid in the eyes of the law. If your will is found to be invalid, your assets will be distributed by the state of New York, rather than according to your specific wishes and plans. This can cause a lot of stress, tension, and legal trouble for your loved ones during what should be a time of mourning. As a result, it is important to work with an experienced attorney.

How Do I Know if a Will is Valid in New York?

In order for your will to be considered valid, it will have to meet the following criteria: 

  • The testator must be at least 18 years old and of “sound mind and memory”
  • The testator must either sign the will themselves or another person must sign the testator’s name at their direction and in their presence
  • At least two people must witness the signature and sign their names on the will within 30 days of each other
  • At some point during the will’s execution and attestation, the testator must tell each witness that the document is their will

If you are interested in creating a will, reach out to our firm today. We are here to walk you through the process every step of the way.

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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