Most of the problems that can pop up with wills in Westchester County, New York, like challenges to the will's validity, can be avoided if the will is well-drafted in the first place.
If your estate doesn't include a lot of money and property, and you only want to leave your assets to a few people, making a will can be pretty simple.
But even with "simple" wills, some easily-avoidable problems come up more frequently than they need to. A knowledgeable Westchester County, New York attorney can help you avoid these problems with careful will preparation.
Many problems with wills can be caused by failing to follow the proper formalities. These requirements are not very intricate, 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 Westchester County, New York
In some states, testators are permitted 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.
If holographic wills are valid in your state, courts will, as with any will, have to figure out what is truly 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 be aware that not all states recognize holographic wills. In such states, you can of course still handwrite your will if you want. But for the will to be valid, it has to be accompanied by all the formalities (including witnesses) needed for any other will.
If your state permits them, a holographic will might be a good way to go in some cases. For example, if you don't have an unusually large amount of money, and simply want to leave your assets to close family members, or even to a single person (such as a spouse), it probably wouldn't be a problem. However, even in cases like this, it's never a bad idea to make a will with the help of a lawyer.
How Can A Westchester County, New York Lawyer Help?
Because there are specific formalities which must be followed in drafting wills, it's always a good idea to seek the help of a Westchester County, 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.