Stephen Bilkis
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New York Holographic Will

A will is a legal document that sets forth how a person wants their estate to be distributed after their death. A will can also be referred to as a Last Will and Testament. The word “testament” comes from common law, and used to refer to the act of disposing of real property. This distinction in word usage has waned over the years, and the term “will” is thought to include both personal and real property. The term Holographic Will refers to a will that has been handwritten by the testator (person making the will). These types of documents are not allowed in all 50 states, and even then, there are very specific rules that apply when they are allowed. Estate Planning and Probate law is complex and ever-changing. It is always wise to consult a New York Estate Attorney when contemplating creating your will or other Estate Planning document.

Every state requires that certain formalities or special rules be observed in the creation of a will in order for it to be valid. New York has some very specific rules regarding the use of a Holographic Will, which are found in NY Law EPTA Section 3-2.2. For instance, in New York the testator must be at least 18 years of age and of sound mind. A Holographic Will must be in the handwriting of the testator. It is not considered a Holographic Will if the testator types or prints the will, for instance. Generally, a Holographic Will is only allowed in New York where it is made by certain members of the United States armed services while serving or by another person who serves with or accompanies the member of the armed forces. The will must be completely in the handwriting of the testator. These types of wills only are valid for one year after the individual ceases serving.

Having a valid will is one of the most important aspects of any estate plan. Not only should everyone have a will, but depending on each person’s unique set of circumstances it may also be important to have an Advanced Health Care Directive, and perhaps a Trust, among other Estate Planning documents. Addressing these issues with a New York Probate Lawyer is important to ensure that your estate plan will protect your interests and honor you wishes. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC, we can educate you on what estate planning documents would best fit your needs. We will also provide you with a free consultation with your first appointment. Contact us today at 800.696.9529. We have office locations throughout the New York area, including Manhattan Brooklyn Bronx Queens Staten Island to Long Island in both Nassau County and Suffolk County and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
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.