COVID-19 Update : We hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. We have limited staff in the office for the mandated real estate closings, and staff working from home to complete all your legal needs. We are now setup for outdoor (under cover) social distance Will signings, Power of Attorneys and Health Care Proxies. You can contact Robert Gurbacki at
716-652-0828 Ext. 304 or email at [email protected]. Of course, we would have rather personal meetings with our clients, but until we can do it safely, everything will be done remotely and at a safe social distance for necessary signatures. No contact will be made. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Creating a will in New York

| Aug 5, 2020 | Wills |

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. 

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