Trust & Estates Law Blog

Myths and Mistakes In Estate Planning: Do-it-Yourself Wills

Though online Will ‘forms’ may seem better than having no Will at all, they could later be found invalid leaving your family and your last wishes at the mercy of the Court.

Do-it-yourself Wills aren’t always better than no Will at all.

Myths and Mistakes In Estate Planning: Do-it-Yourself Wills
“I did my Will with a form I found online. It’s legal.”
Not so fast! Using a Will ‘form’ found online does not ensure its validity. For a Will to be valid, it must be executed consistent with the legal requirements of New York law. The Will should be witnessed by two disinterested witnesses, who were present in the room when you signed it and who saw you physically affix your name to the document. You must affirmatively ash the witness to act as your witness. You must also “publish” your Will by clearly stating the document you are signing is your Last Will and Testament. If you fail to abide by all the legal formalities of execution, your Will could later be found to be invalid by a court. To ensure all these formalities are attended to properly, it is best to have an attorney oversee the execution of your Will.
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