New York Last Will and Testament
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New York Last Will and Testament


Jennifer Mcgee

Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Your New York Last Will and Testament is essential to your family's well-being and financial stability after you pass away. It enables you to decide what would happen to your estate rather than leaving it in a stranger's hands. Furthermore, it'd help you make decisions about who would be your children's guardian or the executor when you pass away. Either way, you shouldn't leave this task until the next time and handle your estate management now.

Read more about what a will is and why estate planning is essential

Table of contents

  1.  Requirements for a New York Last Will and Testament  
  1. Who can be your witnesses?
  1. New York rules for an oral will
  1. New York rules for a personal representative
  1. Last Will and Testament Notarization in New York
  1. Last Will Revocation rules
  1. Last Will Amendment rules
  1. What happens if you don't have a will in New York?
  1. How can TrulyWill help with your online will? 

Requirements for a New York Last Will and Testament 

  • Written and Oral: Generally,  New York last will and testament should be written and on paper. It cannot be audio, video, or other digital file forms. However, New York allows oral wills in certain circumstances discussed ahead.
  • Must be at least 18 or above
  • Sound mind and memory: The testator should understand the process, nature of their property, and relationships with the beneficiaries. They must have a sound mind and memory to make a valid legal will.
  • Signed by the testator: You must sign your New York last will and testament before your witnesses to make it legal.
  • Signed by the witnesses: You must have two disinterested witnesses for the will. They should sign it before you as well.

Who can be your witnesses for a New York Last Will and Testament? 

You must have at least two witnesses for your New York last will that follow these conditions:

  1. They should at least be 18 years of age.
  2. The witnesses should not be beneficiaries of the will. If you select a beneficiary as a witness, there must be at least two other disinterested witnesses for your New York last will and testament.

New York rules for an oral will

New York allows an oral last will in certain special circumstances. It is spoken to a person or persons. An oral will should also have at least two witnesses. Here's who can make an oral will:

  • A member of the U.S.A. armed forces who is in military or naval service during an armed conflict 
  • Someone who accompanies an armed force in military or naval service during an armed conflict 
  • A mariner at sea

New York rules for a personal representative or an executor 

You should name a trusted person as your executor for the New York last will. However, they should follow these conditions to be eligible for the role:

  1. Must be at least 18 or above
  2. They should be capable of performing the job, i.e., of a sound mind.
  3. They shouldn't have any felony convictions.

Last will and Testament Notarization in New York 

You don't need to notarize your New York last will to make it legal. However, you should consider adding a self-proving affidavit to speed up the probate process. Here's how you can do that:

  • Find a notary public to make a legal self-proving affidavit.
  • You and your witnesses should go to the notary and sign the affidavit, stating who you are and that you knew you're signing a will.

Last Will Revocation in New York 

You could follow any of these steps to revoke your New York last will and testament:

  • Destroying the previous will by tearing, burning, shredding.
  • Asking someone else to destroy the last will in front of you and two witnesses 
  • Making a new legal will
  • Making a new document stating the revocation of the previous will

You need to follow the same conditions for issuing a new will or document revoking the previous one as you did for making a legal last will.

Last Will Amendment rules New York.

If you need to make some simple changes to your New York last will, you could do it with a Codicil. It allows you to amend your will and avoid revoking it.

However, you must follow the same conditions to make a legal codicil for witnesses and signing. If you want to make multiple amendments, it's better to create a new will and revoke the previous one.

What happens if you don't have a will in New York?

Case What happens?
Has a spouse but no children Spouse inherits everything
Has children but no spouse Children inherit everything
Has children and a spouse Spouse gets the first 50,000$ along with one-half of the remaining estate. The children inherit everything else
Has parents (no spouse, no kids) Parents inherit everything
Has siblings (no parents, spouse, or kids) Siblings inherit everything
 No family State of New York gets the estate

How can TrulyWill help with an online Will and Testament? 

TrulyWill is the perfect option to create a hassle-free online last will. You could go to the platform from your home's comfort and make your online will and testament. Online wills are a straightforward process; you should opt for them rather than spending hours in a lawyer's office. Furthermore, the process is pretty simple; you just add details, review for mistakes, read the guidelines, and download. That's it!

What else can TrulyWill do?

TrulyWill helps fulfill your varying needs for a will. You can opt for a simple last will and testament online or seek professional help. We offer everything from one-on-one legal support to solve your will issues.

Furthermore, you could opt for a trust-based plan depending on what suits you better. TrulyWill can help you figure out the process and help avoid substantial legal fees. So, you should go to the platform and get your online will in just a few minutes.

Got Questions?

Hi, I’m Jennifer McGee.

Co-founder & Head of Legal at TrulyWill

Feel free to book a call with me to help you with your estate plan.

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What would happen if someone passes away without a will?
The state's intestacy laws will be followed if someone dies without a will. The interested parties, like the spouse or children, would have to go through a probate process to get their share in the estate.
Can I write down my wishes and consider them a legal will?
Several states do not allow a self-written will unless you've followed the requirements. It would always be better to create a legal will by following all your state rules.
What would happen to my estate if I had no immediate family?
If you create a will before you pass away, your estate will go to the beneficiaries you've mentioned. However, if you die without a will, it could go to your extended family or even the state if there are no relatives.
Do I need to have a certain amount of money to make a will?
No, there's no minimum limit of money you need to have to make your last will. It would dispose of any assets you leave to the beneficiaries.
Is it an expensive procedure to make a will?
Traditional will-making processes can be pretty expensive. However, with online tools and platforms, you can do it in an affordable way.
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