Most of the issues that can pop up with wills in Ithaca, New York, like challenges to the will's validity, can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.
Generally, 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.
But even if the will is comparatively simple, some preventable problems can derail the process. An experienced lawyer in Ithaca, New York who specializes in wills and estate planning can help make sure that this doesn't happen to your will.
Many problems with wills can be caused by failing to follow the necessary formalities. These requirements are not very complex, but they need to be followed scrupulously. If not, the will might be found to be invalid. In almost every state, the will must be witnessed and signed by two disinterested parties, and must include a clear statement that the document is, in fact, a last will and testament.
Holographic Wills in Ithaca, New York
In some states, "holographic wills" are legitimate. A holographic will is written by hand, in the testator's own handwriting. Such will do not need to have any witnesses to be valid.
If holographic wills are valid in your state, courts will, as with any will, have to figure out what is actually being said, and resolve ambiguities. Because holographic wills are not always written under ideal conditions, they have to be interpreted very liberally, so they can be given effect and not fail for technical reasons.
You should, however, know that not all states allow holographic wills. In such states, you can still hand write your will if you want, but all the formalities, such as witnesses, must be present.
If your state recognizes them, a holographic will might be a good option if you have a very small estate, and wish to make very simple devises. Nonetheless, it is never a bad idea to at least have an attorney review your will for completeness and clarity, even if you aren't having the attorney draft it from scratch.
How Can A Ithaca, New York Lawyer Help?
Because of the formalities that are required for most wills to be valid, it is usually a good idea to have an Ithaca, New York attorney help you make it, or at least go over it after you have written it, to make sure there aren't any problems with it.