When someone says estate planning attorney, you probably envision a lawyer who has the skills to help people write their wills. While it’s true that drafting a Last Will and Testament is one important service offered by an new york estate attorney, it’s by no means all they do.
Wills and how they work in the state of New York
Anyone over the age of consent, of sound memory and mind, is allowed by law to make a Last Will and Testament in the state of New York. In fact, it is strongly recommended that anyone with assets do so. One simply never knows the future; if a person dies without a will, or intestate, their belongings may not wind up where they would have wanted them to go.
Lawyer-Drafted Last Will and Testament
The laws of probate in New York can be quite complex. The best way to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes is to hire an attorney who has experience in matters of probate and estate planning. Oral and hand-written wills are hard to prove and easily disputed.
A simple, entirely hand-written Last Will and Testament may be deemed valid in the state of New York, providing it meets certain conditions. Evidence that proves the document was actually written and signed by the testator may be required.
This type of will is not often used in New York, because it’s hard to prove an oral will. In New York, a nuncupative will is valid only if made by an active member of the armed services during a time of war or by a mariner while at sea. The testator’s oral statement of final wishes must also be witnessed and verified by at least two persons.
In addition to writing wills, a New York estate planning attorney helps people of sound mind to make advanced health directives and end-of-life decisions. If you’re sure you don’t ever want to be kept alive by machines when all hope is gone, a legally binding DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate directive may be written and signed while you are still in a position to do so.
Parents may wish to make provisions for the guardianship of minor children in the event that the unthinkable happens. Persons with large estates and adult children may wish to have an estate lawyer incorporate a dynasty trust into their will. The need for proper estate planning is not exclusive to the very wealthy; virtually anyone can benefit from ensuring the smooth transition of money, assets and real estate from one generation to the next.
If you’d like to know more about estate planning and how it is relevant to your life, contact us. We’d be happy to answer your questions.