If you are beginning the estate planning process, you may have come across some DIY will-writing templates. While you can create your will online, it is not necessarily the right move. Read on to learn more about wills in New York and how a skilled estate planning attorney can help you.

What is a Will?

A will is one of the most important documents you can create when it comes to estate planning. Your will allows you to determine how your assets will be divided amongst your loved ones in the event of your passing. This can include real estate, retirement accounts, sentimental items, and much more. If you do not create a will, your assets will be distributed by the state of New York.

Can I Create a Will on my Own?

You can create a will without the help of an attorney, but it may not go well. A will is a sensitive document that must be created and filed a certain way. If you do not follow the process correctly, your will can be considered invalid. In order for your will to be valid, it must meet the following requirements:

  • The will must be in writing and signed
    • You must be 18 years or older to create a will.
  • Witnessed
    • Two witnesses will have to witness the signing of the will.
  • Statements
    • These witnesses will acknowledge why they are there and that the subject of the will is of full capacity to sign the document.
  • Filed & Probated
    • After all is completed, a will can be filed and probated.

If your will is invalid, it can be contested. Passing away without a will, or with an invalid will, can cause a lot of undue stress for your friends and family during what should be a time of mourning. To avoid this, you should reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney who can walk you through the process.

What Else Can an Estate Planning Attorney Help me With?

Estate planning does not end with the creation of your will. There is a lot more that goes into the process. You may also wish to create a power of attorney, an advance healthcare directive, trusts, and more. Estate plans are complex, and an attorney can help you create a cohesive and comprehensive plan that meets your individual needs.

If you have any questions or concerns about the estate planning process, contact our firm today to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.

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.