August 2013 News: New York Estate Planning News

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3 Must-Haves For a Formal Will in N.Y.

What is required for a formal will in New York? The will requirements for every state will vary, so it's important to know what is required in your state. Otherwise, you run the risk of your loved ones and those named in your will running into legal trouble, or the possibility of your assets falling into the wrong hands.

There are a few different kinds of wills in New York, and a formal will is only one type. However, it is the most common one. The other kinds are only accepted in very limited circumstances. These include holographic (handwritten) wills and nuncupative (unwritten, e.g. video or audio) wills.

Most wills in New York are going to be formal. So, with that said, here are 3 must-haves for a formal will in New York:

Are Handwritten Wills Legal in N.Y.?

Are handwritten wills legal in New York? Otherwise known as holographic wills, handwritten wills are not usually the preferred way of entering a will into the legal system for validity.

While formal will requirements vary from state to state, they generally encompass some combination of being signed by the testator, with witnesses present at the time of execution.

New York's formal will statute in particular has the following requirements for a formal will: