Most of the issues that can pop up with wills in Amherst, New York, like challenges to the will's validity, can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.
Typically, the larger your estate, and the more separate devises you want to make, the more complex the process of drafting your will is going to be. For most people, however, the process can be fairly simple.
However even with "simple" wills, some easily-avoidable problems come up more commonly than they need to. A seasoned Amherst, New York attorney can help you avoid these problems with careful will preparation.
A considerable percentage of the problems that prevent wills from taking effect are caused by failing to follow the required formalities in will preparation. In most states, wills need to be witnessed and signed by at least two people who have no direct interest in the matter. They further have to include a clear written statement that the document is, in fact, the testator's will. It also has to be witnessed by at least two people. Witnesses cannot be anyone who has a direct interest in the will, which encompasses close relatives of the testator and anyone who's named in the will.
Holographic Wills in Amherst, New York
In some states, testators are authorized to make "holographic wills." This is a will which the testator hand-writes, in his or her own handwriting. Such wills do not need to have any witnesses to be given effect.
Holographic wills are usually construed very broadly. Knowing that it was not written by an expert, a court will normally look at the common definition of words, and use other common-sense principles when it comes to interpreting a holographic will. This is necessary to avoid conflicts, and increase the chances that the testator's wishes are honored.
But you should be aware that not all states authorize holographic wills. In these states, you are still authorized to hand write your will if you so desire, but they must be accompanied by all the formalities necessary by the law of that state.
If they are authorized in your states, a holographic will can be a good option, in some cases. If you do not have a massive amount of money and property that you want to pass on, and your devises are going to be very simple (regular gifts to just a few people), a holographic will can suffice. Nonetheless, you should seek the advice of a lawyer beforehand, and know that it is almost always a better option to have a will accompanied by all the required formalities.
How Can A Amherst, New York Lawyer Help?
Because there are particular formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the advice of an Amherst, New York attorney in drafting your will. Even if your will is going to be very simple, and you have the formalities all figured out, mistakes can be made.