New York Wills Lawyer
If you are interested in creating your own estate plan, you probably know that the key document to any estate plan is the Last Will and Testament. Wills are the most widely used document in the estate plan and can be a short handwritten document (called a Holographic Will) or a long, more complex document. Some people are under the mistaken impression that Wills are only required for large estates. A New York Estate Lawyer would tell you however, that Wills are recommended for everyone. If you want to create a will, or are handling the estate of a friend or family member, contact a New York Estate Lawyer for advice and guidance. Estate Planning document require a great deal of legal detail and each document should be considered an integral part of a comprehensive estate plan.
A common question arises whether Wills can be handwritten. The validity of handwritten Wills depends on what state it was created in, as state laws vary. In New York, handwritten or holographic Wills are valid, but only in very specific instances. Wills also require a various formalities be observed in the way they are executed and witnessed. It is important to consult with a New York Probate Lawyer to assist you with the creation of your will. If any technical detail of a will is not observed, it will render the document unenforceable.
When someone dies, a Probate case is filed with the Surrogate’s court. A New York Estate Lawyer will file the will and all other pertinent documents. It is the court’s job to validate the will and other documentation. The court will then appoint an executor who will oversee the administration of the estate. They will be in charge of paying the debts of the estate, gathering and maintaining the assets, and finally distributing them to the heirs that have been designated in the will. If there is not a will, or if it is determined that the will is not valid, the court will distribute the assets of the estate according to state law, called Intestate Succession. It is not uncommon for heirs or disgruntled family members to take exception to how the estate is being handled, and file a Will Contest action.
Wills are a very important aspect of Estate Planning. Care should be taken to ensure that your will is created correctly and that it covers all aspects of your estate, and ultimately reflects your wishes. Contact the Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC for legal guidance with your estate matters, from Conservatorships, Elder Law, or Estate Administration. We will offer you a free consultation and sound legal advice. Contact us today at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW. We have office locations conveniently located throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island to Long Island in both Nassau County and Suffolk County and Westchester County.