The state already determines how much taxes you owe, what type of insurance coverage you need, and where you can open up a business depending on zoning laws. The last thing you want the state to decide upon is what happens to your assets after you pass away. That is why drafting a will in New York is one of the most important decisions you can make in life.
Typically a will should convey the following:
Name and addresses of individuals and/or entities to whom you wish to leave your property to.
The name of a Guardian if you have minor children.
The name of Property Guardian if your children are under the age of majority when you pass, or are likely to squander away the money.
Whom you want your executor to be. This is the individual with authority to manage your assets and make sure your will is carried out according to your wishes.
The above is an example of what a basic will should contain. In contrary to a trust, a will does not need to be notarized. It is good practice to have the will notarized, however, a lack of notary will not invalidate the will. In New York State, there must be at least two witnesses to a will. All witnesses should sign and print their name, and include their address. Since people pass and move, it is recommended that there be at least 3 witnesses if case any of the mentioned instances occur. Also, all witnesses should sign the will within a 30 day period.
A basic will as mentioned above should suffice if your assets aren’t subject to estate tax. It is highly recommend to find a good NYC probate attorney to draft you a more advanced will that have any of the following scenarios:
There might be estate tax owed because your assets exceed the exempted NY State and Federal amounts.
You want your property placed in a trust.
You have creditors that may make large claims against your estate.
You have a disabled child (age doesn’t matter) and you want the guardianship to be addressed in the will.
You fear others may contest your will.
Be aware the deceased may have a will and you are just not aware of it. Here is a good guide as to find out if someone has a will.
If you have any questions on this matter and you live in New York, feel free to contact the Mishiyeva Law Firm, PLLC., and we can help you with your probate and will matter:
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