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WHAT TYPES OF WILLS DO NY COURTS RECOGNIZE AS VALID?

A Brooklyn wills attorney can help ensure you comply with all legal requirements to create a valid will.

The most common type of will is in writing and signed by the testator (person making the will), using his or her own name or is signed by another person under his or her direction. There must be two witnesses present to the signing of the will and the testator must affirm that it is his or her will. The other two types of wills recognized by NY courts are nuncupative and holographic wills. Estates, Powers & Trusts Law (EPTL) § 3-2.2 is the New York statute that allows nuncupative and holographic wills. A nuncupative will is an unwritten will that the individual states verbally. To be valid, two witnesses must be present. The other type of valid will is a holographic will, which is in the person's own handwriting. Only the following persons are capable of having nuncupative and holographic wills:

  • Member of the U.S. services while in actual service during war, whether declared or undeclared or during armed conflict
  • A person serving with or accompanying an armed force engaged in actual military or naval service during a war or armed conflict
  • A mariner who is at sea

There are limitations on how long these two types of wills are valid. The will expires one year after military discharge. For mariners, such wills are valid until three years from the time the will was made and after that time, the will expires.

By working with an experienced wills lawyer in Brooklyn, you can draft a will that passes your estate to your heirs according to your wishes.

Goldberg Sager & Associates has 25 years of experience helping with wills and other types of estate planning.

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