One of the first steps in estate planning is to write a thorough will. Without a will, you may not be able to direct what happens to your estate after you pass. Writing a last will and testament without an attorney requires that you carefully research all related state laws to ensure your document is legal. You must write your wishes very clearly and even take care with the appearance of your will to avoid any doubt which could make the will invalid.
In many states, a will can be challenged if there appears to be additional staple holes in the document or no staples at all. This is because it begs the question of whether the will has had pages removed, added, or altered at any time since the moment it was executed. At best the court will often allow those who had possession or knowledge of the document to give an affidavit to the court as to why the staples were removed or missing. The same may hold true if the will is unstapled- an affidavit would need to be provided to the court that no pages were inserted and why the will remains “unstapled”.
The laws surrounding a will, such as the valid execution of a will, the handling of a will after its signing, and probating the will after death are quite complex. It is always recommended that you retain competent legal counsel to handle such important legal matters.
Do you have more questions about writing a last will and testament? Our attorneys can ensure that your will complies with state law, takes into consideration specific circumstances such as current estate taxes. insurance issues, and other aspects that will help move things easily through the probate process, the method how your estate is legally transferred after you die. Contact us at (914) 228-7448 or email us here to schedule a free consultation.