Each state has its own laws about wills. When you write your will, you must ensure it complies with New York state laws.
Review these regulations to confirm that the state will find your will valid and follow its provisions.
Purpose of a will
New York allows you to create a will in which you:
- Designate an executor to carry out your wishes
- Name a trustee to manage assets on behalf of children younger than 18
- Name a guardian to take care of children younger than 18
- Designate beneficiaries for your personal assets
Without a will, the state will distribute your property to your spouse, or to your children if you do not have a spouse. If you have neither spouse or children, New York maintains a list of other relatives who may inherit your assets, or they will go to the state in the absence of living relatives.
Validity of a will
New York will consider your will valid if you sign it in front of at least two witnesses who know you are signing your will. The witnesses must also sign the will in your presence, but the state does not require notarization of a will for it to be valid. Your signature must appear at the very end of the will. Witnesses must also include their mailing addresses. You have 30 days after writing your will to obtain the correct signatures.
If you decide to notarize your will, it becomes a self-proving document. This step can streamline the probate process for your executor and heirs.