Wills Lawyers in NYC, Ensuring Your Final Wishes Are Known and Respected in Your Absence
When someone leaves assets behind after their death, those assets typically have to go through the probate process. There are some ways to avoid this, but by and large, it’s a necessary task in most situations. One of the easiest ways to simplify this process is by having a valid last will and testament in place. This will make your wishes known and establish who receives your money and property once you’re gone. Failing to have a will in place — or unknowingly having an invalid will — can result in the courts making important decisions for you. Fortunately, it’s possible to avoid this. A wills lawyer in NYC can help.
At Marchese & Maynard, LLP, we’ve spent many years helping our clients create estate plans. We’ve also spent extensive time inside probate court, and that means we’ve seen just about every possible outcome in estate administration. This has provided us with insight into how to create wills that are both valid and align with your wishes. It can be difficult to ensure your family members, respected organizations, and loved ones get exactly what they deserve. However, we’re here to simplify the process for you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a wills attorney in NYC.
How Do You Make a Valid Will in New York City?
When a person dies, it’s important that they have a valid will in place. If a will exists but is not considered valid, then the decedent’s property will be divided under New York law. In many instances, this means assets may go where a person had never intended. For a last will and testament to be valid in the state of New York, it must meet the following qualifications:
- The person (testator) must be at least 18 years old
- The will must be in writing. Note: This does not mean handwritten
- Two witnesses over the age of 18 must witness the signing
- Witnesses cannot be beneficiaries in the will
An NYC wills attorney can help you meet each of these requirements, but couldn’t you handle some of this yourself? While there are many do-it-yourself options out there, legal professionals warn against using them. The simplest of mistakes can invalidate a will, which means you’ll have no say over what happens to your assets. Our estate planning law firm can help ensure you don’t make the most common mistakes.
Contact us today and learn how to protect your wealth and assets.
What If You Die Without a Will in NYC?
When someone dies without a will in New York City — or if their will is invalid — they have died intestate. This means that asset distribution will occur based on state law. Rather than having an executor that they chose themselves to carry out their estate plan, the courts will appoint an administrator to do so. Even in situations where this individual is trusted, families don’t always get what their deceased loved one would’ve wanted.
That’s because state law decides who is entitled to assets. If a person was married when they died, their spouse will typically receive the first $50,000 of their assets. The rest is then evenly divided 50/50 between the spouse and any children they have. This can create difficulties for those who have children from previous marriages, and even for those who weren’t, assets may go where they would never have desired.
It’s important that you do not die without a last will and testament in place. Let our wills lawyers in NYC help.
What Is a Living Will?
An NYC estate planning lawyer does not always focus on what happens when their clients die. This is nowhere more clear than with living wills. Rather than dictate what happens to a person’s estate when they’re gone, a living will details a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment if they’re ever incapacitated or unable to make decisions on their own. It is also commonly known as an advance directive, personal directive, or advance healthcare directive.
Living wills may seem unrelated to estates, but they’re actually an important part of every estate plan. Just like a typical will, they allow you to make important decisions prior to a time when you can no longer make them. You should choose a healthcare proxy who can make your wishes known and be very clear in legal documents about your desires. A court must decide if your living will is valid, so it’s ideal to have a wills attorney in NYC assist you.
Contact a Wills Lawyer in NYC Today
Proper estate planning is the only way to ensure your wishes are respected when you’re gone. While various elements go into a proper estate plan, it’s the last will and testament that will likely have the most significant effect. Dying without a will in place can make other estate planning tools less effective, and assets that were meant for one party may go to someone else entirely. A skilled attorney with knowledge of New York State laws can help you avoid such pitfalls and ensure your estate plan is legal, valid, and in your best interest.
At Marchese & Maynard, LLP, our NYC estate planning lawyers are committed to ensuring that our clients have a say in what happens when they can no longer speak for themselves. We can create legal documents that designate where your assets go, who serves as executor of your estate, and so much more. You worked hard for what you have in this life, and you should be able to decide what happens to your finances and properties when you’re gone. Call 646-362-8600 to schedule a free consultation with a wills attorney in NYC.