Can you write a will without an attorney in New York? That all depends on your unique circumstances. If you do not know whether you can write a will without an attorney, please read on, then contact an experienced Rockland County will attorney to discuss your next steps.

Can you write a will without an attorney in New York?

According to the laws of New York, you do not need an attorney to write a will. All you need to do is write a document that declares in clear and unequivocal language that it is your will. You must sign it and date it in the presence of two witnesses. Those two witnesses must then sign and date it at the bottom. They need not know the content of your will, just that they are cognizant of the fact that it is your will. Other than their signatures, they should not otherwise be referenced in the document. You don’t even need a notary. After these formalities, you should put your will in a safe and accessible place until it is needed.

How can an attorney help me write a will?

Estate planning professionals have more comprehensive knowledge of how to write a will that honors your wishes. They will know to include the following specifications:

  • Your pertinent personal information
  • What property to include
  • Who will inherit your various items of property
  • The executor to handle your estate
  • The guardian of your minor children, if you have any
  • Someone to manage your children’s property, i.e. a trustee

The intent of your will is to help protect your family and your property. You can also use a will to leave your property to non-related people or organizations.

What happens if I die without writing a will?

If you die intestate, your property will pass to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse and children. If you have neither a spouse nor children, the state will award your property to your siblings, parents or grandchildren. Should these relatives predecease you, New York will award your property to increasingly distant relatives, including cousins, aunts and uncles, great-granchildren and so on and so forth. If the state cannot find any relatives connected to you by blood or marriage, the state will take your property. Don’t let others decide what happens to your property, contact a skilled Rockland County wills, trusts and estates attorney today.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.