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Free Fillable New York Last Will and Testament Form

We live in an information age where people search the web for any information to better their lives. However, one information remains a top-guarded secret—when that life will end, how, and where. Thus, it’s prudent for everyone to live ready to leave at any time.

But what happens to all of the assets that Divine Providence privileged you to get? They automatically transfer into other beneficiaries’ hands, and you can do nothing to stop it. However, you can use a New York last will and testament to determine how, and not if, you want the transfer to happen. Therefore, it’s prudent to focus on and prepare for what you can do instead of worrying about what you can’t. So, remain with us to discover more and write your last will and testament form today.

Fillable New York Last Will and Testament Form
Download your fillable New York Last Will and Testament Form in PDF format:
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Why Do You Need One?

A New York last will and testament is a legally binding document. However, it’s not mandatory to have one before your death. However, its benefits are too many to ignore. Thus, the question shifts from whether to why you need it. Below are the leading reasons to draft this document before breathing your last.

Firstly, it lets you show your children that you care about them. It’s one way of showing your family that they are your most important asset. Thus, all the material possessions you amassed are nothing compared to their matchless worth. Moreover, all of your assets are here to serve their best economic interests before and after your death.

Secondly, it lets you appoint a trusted guardian to take care of your minors’ inheritance as they mature. It lets you entrust their inheritance in the hands of a person you trust with their best interests.

Third, it lets you appoint a trusted executor who implements all of your wishes. Unlike a court appointee who meets mere legal requirements, an executor executes everything your heart wished regarding your estate’s inheritors. Remember, you are not dealing with state property but personal assets you labored hard to get. Thus, your wishes should supersede every other wish.

Fourth, you have the last say in determining whom you want to benefit from your life’s labor. Thus, your will must be respected. This document is called your last WILL because it expresses your will regarding your estate. It lets you appoint anyone inside and outside your family to inherit your assets. For instance, you can choose your friends with whom you have walked together in life. You can also appoint the needy in society to benefit from your assets as a way of showing your moral obligation to help others. Thus, it lets you exercise your moral instinct and surpass mere legal formalities.

So, do you want to enjoy these benefits? If you do, it’s high time you download and fill out our last will templates to write your will today.

Death Without a Last Will

Despite its importance, people still breathe their last without a last will. This unfortunate event lets the state step in and invoke intestacy laws. These laws allow the state to decide how the deceased’s assets will be distributed among their family members. New York laws require that if the deceased left a surviving spouse without children, they inherit everything.

If they left children but no surviving spouse, their children inherit their entire estate. If the deceased left spouse with children, their spouse receives the first $50,000 and equally shares the remaining assets with children. In rare cases where the deceased left no spouse and children but had only parents, their parents inherit everything. Likewise, if they survived by siblings only, they inherit their entire estate.

Where the above relatives are dead, New York laws trickle down to include other relatives. For instance, one’s grandparents, cousins, offspring beyond their first generation, and adopted/foster children can inherit their estate.

Exempted Assets

Regarding properties one can distribute through a last will, the law allows only those registered in the testator’s name to be included. Thus, all jointly-owned properties are exempted. In cases where a testator passes on their insurance policies into their last will, the law requires them to be their sole beneficiaries.

Primary Requirements

All last wills in New York should meet the following legal requirements. Otherwise, they will be null and void.

  • The testator should be an adult aged 18 years and over.
  • The testator must be sane and able to make sound decisions.
  • The drafter should sign the last will or appoint a trusted person to do it for them in their name, conscious presence, and at their direction. The signatory shouldn’t be a witness to the last will.
  • A minimum of two witnesses should sign the will in the testator’s presence. They must also have seen the testator signing the last will or heard them acknowledging its signature. These witnesses can sign the document together or separately. These witnesses should sign the last will within 30 days, and they should, if possible, include their addresses.
  • The will can be written or oral.
  • The testator can appoint anyone they wish to inherit their estate.

Other Acceptable Last Wills

New York laws also accept oral and handwritten last wills. However, they only allow army officers to write them during the war. They also allow their servants or those accompanying them to create such wills. These wills need two witnesses and are invalidated after one year following an army officer’s discharge from service. The invalidation happens three years after a mariner’s discharge from the navy.

Amending Your Last Will

You can amend your last will whenever you wish via a codicil.

Revoking Your Last Will

You can revoke a last will by drafting another will. The law also allows you to burn, tear, cancel, destroy, and obliterate your last will to revoke it. You can do it yourself or by appointing a trusted person to do it in your presence.

There you have everything you needed to know about a New York last will and testament. It’s up to you to download our forms and write yours today.

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