A will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can create. 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 should be divided in the event of your passing. A will is so important because it will help ensure that your family and friends receive the assets you wish to leave them. Failing to create a will is known as dying “intestate.” This means that when you pass away, your assets will be divided by the state of New York, rather than according to your wishes. To avoid this, reach out to an experienced attorney to begin writing your will.

What Makes a Will Valid in New York?

In order for a will to be considered valid, it must be:

  • The will must be in writing and signed
  • You must be 18 years or older to create a will.
  • You will need two witnesses present. These witnesses will acknowledge why they are there and that the subject of the will is of full capacity to sign the document.
  • After all is completed, a will can be filed and probated.

Contesting a Will

If an individual believes a will was created without following the lawful guidelines, it can be contested. Under probate law, a will can only be contested by those who are mention in the will or a previous will that was written.

A will may be contested for the following reasons:

  • If it was created under the influence of another party
  • If the deceased was not mentally competent when writing the will
  • If the will was not executed properly
  • If fraud or forgery took place

If the court agrees that the will is invalid, the document can be thrown out. If there is no other will, the deceased’s assets will be distributed by the state of New York through a succession plan. 

Updating a Will

Many people believe that once they create their will, they can set it aside. This is not the case. It is important to update your will every 3-5 years. When your life changes, your will should change. For example, you may modify your will in the event of a marriage, divorce, the birth/adoption of a child, and so on.

If you are interested in creating a will, reach out to our firm 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.