Those who have finally created a will can breathe a sigh of relief. They have decided and codified how their assets will be distributed upon their death. Are all wills valid in New York? What might make one invalid?
If you have questions or concerns about estate planning — specifically, creating a valid will, let’s look at a couple of things you should know.
Wills must be witnessed properly
New York wills require two witnesses to validate the document. The witnesses must either observe you signing the will or see you acknowledging that the will belongs to you. They must also sign at the end of the document and include their residential addresses.
Since each state has unique will witnessing laws, these small details are important to ensure you do not accidentally invalidate the will.
Oral and handwritten wills are typically not valid
In some states, you may speak your will aloud or write it with your own hand. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case in New York. The only legally valid handwritten or oral wills are those created by a member of the armed forces. Further, the servicemember must be serving during a war or other armed conflict (or accompanying an armed force) for the document to be valid.
There are many details involved in estate planning – even just in creating a will. It’s wise to familiarize yourself further with New York will and estate planning laws. Having experienced legal guidance with your own estate planning process can also help you create a solid plan that meets your needs.