2 things you should know about creating a valid New York will

2 things you should know about creating a valid New York will

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2024 | Wills

Crafting a comprehensive estate plan, with a valid will or living trust at its core, is an essential step towards securing your legacy. It grants you the power to pass on your assets after you die, ensuring your loved ones’ security.

Unfortunately, the legal landscape surrounding wills is often more confusing than anticipated, especially when considering state-specific requirements. In New York, like in many other states, there are crucial details to remember in order to better ensure that your will is sound and legally enforceable.

Witness requirements for will validity

New York laws mandate that two witnesses observe specific procedures to validate a will. If you’re executing a will, the witnesses must be present when you sign the will or there when you acknowledge it as yours. Additionally, they must sign the document at the end, including their current residential addresses. All states require a will to be witnessed, but every state has unique requirements. It is vital to know the witnessing guidelines for your location.

Oral and handwritten wills are generally not accepted

In some jurisdictions, oral (spoken) or holographic (handwritten) wills might be recognized under specific circumstances. New York, however, typically does not consider them valid except in one unique situation. Both of these nontraditional wills may be valid under New York law if created by members of the armed forces. Even then, a service member must be on active duty during a declared war or armed conflict to qualify for this exception.

As you can see, creating a valid will with no vulnerabilities is more complicated than you may have imagined. A legal representative can help to ensure that you understand the law, facilitating a comprehensive estate plan that reflects your wishes and complies with mandatory regulations.

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