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Long Island Holographic Will

New York has specific requirements that must be followed in order for a will to be valid. These requirements are in place to ensure that the will is a true reflection of the testator’s wishes and to prevent fraud. However, there are circumstances during which a testator may feel compelled to create will, but it is not possible for all of the legal requirements to be followed. Acknowledging that such circumstances do exist, New York law allows for exceptions to its normal requirements for executing a will. It is important to understand the very specific circumstances under which the rules for creating a valid will are relaxed. Failure to do so may result in a testator’s will being declared invalid, a result to be avoided. If you have concerns about the validity of your will, contact an experienced Long Island holographic will attorney to learn about the requirements for a valid will in New York.

Requirements for a valid will in New York

There are many different types of will. Based on their particular circumstances testators can opt for wills that best fits their circumstances and estate planning goals. However, in order for a will to valid in New York, it must meet the requirements of New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law. The requirements include:

  • Testator must be at least 18 years old
  • Testator must be of sound mind
  • The will must be in writing
  • The will must be signed at the end by the testator
  • The will must be witnessed by two people
  • The witnesses must also sign the will

In addition, in order to be valid a will must not have been written or executed while the testator was under duress or undue influence. If you have concerns that your will or a will of a loved one is not valid, discuss you concerns with a Long Island holographic will lawyer. Interested parties have the right to challenge the validity of a will during with a will contest. If the court agrees that a will is not valid, it will not be admitted to probate.

Holographic will

A holographic will is an exception to the New York’s general requirements for a will to be valid. A holographic will is written and signed by the testator, but is not witnessed. Thus, a holographic will does not meet the requirement that a will must be witnessed by two people. A holographic will will only be considered valid if it is made by a member of the military, or someone accompanying a member of the military, during a time of conflict. Such a will is only valid for a year after the testator ceases serving. Thus, if you created a holographic will while you were serving, once you leave the military you should contact a holographic will attorney serving Long Island and execute a new will that is executed in a manner that is consistent with New York law, including the requirement of two witnesses who sign the will.

Consequences of not having a valid will

If you have an invalid holographic will, the Surrogate’s Court will determine that you are intestate, meaning that you passed away without a will. This means that your preferences for who you want to have your property may not be followed. Instead, an estate administrator will be appointed to distribute your assets based on the laws of intestate succession. This means that only those who are your next of kin will receive your property. This includes your surviving spouse and children. If you do not have a surviving spouse or children, your property will go to other blood relatives such as your parents and siblings.

While it may be your intention to leave your property to your legal heirs, if you also want to leave property to others who are not your next of kin such as friends, in-laws, other relatives, foster children, or organizations, those wishes will not be honored, even if you started those wishes in your invalidated holographic will.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The Surrogate’s Court will declare your will to be invalid if it was not written and executed in a manner that consistent with New York Estates, Powers, and Trusts Law. If you have a holographic or nuncupative will, it is likely that even if it was at one time valid, it is no longer valid. It is important that you contact a holographic will attorney in Long Island to review your will and make sure that it is valid. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates will help you develop an overall estate plan that reflects your individual goals. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Westchester County, Suffolk County, Staten Island, Queens, Nassau County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, and Manhattan.

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Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
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