Wills and Estates – Last Will and Testament Law – New York
Note: This law summary is not intended to be all inclusive of the law of wills in New York, but does provide basic and other information. It does not include a discussion of handwritten wills.
Who may make wills: Every person eighteen years of age or over, of sound mind and memory, may by will dispose of real and personal property. 3-1.1
What property may be disposed of by will: Every estate in property, real, personal and otherwise, may be devised or bequeathed. 3-1.2.
Execution and attestation of wills; formal requirements: A will must be in writing, and executed and attested in the following manner:
1. It shall be signed at the end thereof by the testator. No effect shall be given to any matter, other than the attestation clause, which follows the signature of the testator, or to any matter preceding such signature which was added subsequently to the execution of the will.
2. The signature of the testator shall be affixed to the will in the presence of each of the attesting witnesses, or shall be acknowledged by the testator to each of them to have been affixed by him or by his direction. The testator may either sign in the presence of, or acknowledge his signature to each attesting witness separately.
3. The testator shall, at some time during the ceremony or ceremonies of execution and attestation, declare to each of the attesting witnesses that the instrument to which his signature has been affixed is his will.
4. There shall be at least two attesting witnesses, who shall, within one thirty day period, both attest the testator`s signature, as affixed or acknowledged in their presence, and at the request of the testator, sign their names and affix their residence addresses at the end of the will. The failure of a witness to affix his address shall not affect the validity of the will. 3.2.1
Competence of attesting witness who is beneficiary; application to nuncupative will: An attesting witness to a will to whom a beneficial disposition or appointment of property is made is a competent witness and compellable to testify respecting the execution of such will as if no such disposition or appointment had been made, subject to the following: Any such disposition or appointment made to an attesting witness is void unless there are, at the time of execution and attestation, at least two other attesting witnesses to the will who receive no beneficial disposition or appointment thereunder. 3.3.2.
Revocation of wills; effect on codicils: A revocation or alteration, if intended by the testator, may be effected in the following manner only:
(1) A will or any part thereof may be revoked or altered by:
(A) Another will.
(B) A writing of the testator clearly indicating an intention to effect such revocation or alteration, executed with the formalities prescribed by this article for the execution and attestation of a will.
(2) A will may also be revoked by an act of burning, tearing, cutting, cancellation, obliteration, or other mutilation or destruction performed by the testator or another person, in the presence and by the direction of the testator. Sec. 3-4.1
Related New York Legal Forms
- Legal Last Will and Testament for Married person with Minor Children from Prior Marriage
- Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Married Person with No Children
- Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Single Person with Minor Children
- Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Widow or Widower with Adult and Minor Children
- Legal Last Will and Testament Form for a Widow or Widower with Adult Children