Could Doing Your Own Will Cost Your Beneficiaries?
If you look up estate planning online, you can find almost countless resources on all of the ways that you can write your own will in order to save yourself some legal fees. The parties behind these resources try to convince the customer that DIY when it comes to estate planning is perfectly fine and it is not something where an attorney is actually needed. This really is not the case and, in order to make sure that your wishes are followed and to eliminate the chances of someone trying to contest your will, you should hire a Long Island estate attorney to deal with every aspect of your estate plan.
There is much that goes in to a will to make sure that it is valid in New York. Basically, a will in New York must be written, signed by you in front of two witnesses or, if you aren’t able to sign yourself for some reason, direct someone (who is not a witness) to sign for you. The two witnesses, both of whom should be over the age of 18, must also sign and put their address on the will.
There are other things that must be taken into account also when it comes to the will itself that go beyond just the minimal legal requirements, however. Usually, Long Island estate attorneys will have the witnesses sign an affidavit that the testator signed the will and that the person signing the will was competent to do so. Having these affidavits are important because if the will is contested on the grounds of competence, fraud or something similar, and the witnesses cannot be found, this would be a sworn statement as to capacity and identity which can be used as evidence.
Besides simply making sure all of the paperwork was done properly, the attorney will also make sure that the will is executed in a way that would make it more difficult for the will to be contested. For one, the attorney will make sure that the witnesses are proper by making sure that they do not have an interest in the will and are reliable. The attorney will also make sure that the will is executed properly so that it cannot be overturned on a technical issue of some sort. Finally, if there is the possibility that a will can be contested for reasons of you possibly not being competent or that you are being unduly influenced, an attorney could also make sure that steps are taken to document this isn’t the case.
Finally, a Long Island estate attorney can help you plan your estate in such a way where your wishes will be made the clearest and done in the most efficient way. For example, if trusts need to be set up or plans need to be made when it comes to giving gifts to non-profits, taking estate taxes into account or making certain that specific items are given to specific people, your Long Island estate attorney can all make sure that your estate is planned in a way where you can be rest assured that everything is done correctly. If you are looking to make a will in Long Island, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.