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Executing and attesting a will

In order to properly execute a will, residents in New York may need to understand more about the state requirements governing the process. Most wills are completed in writing, and most are executed and attested in similar fashion. The person whose name is on the will is referred to as the testator. The will must have the testator's name, and signature included at the end in order to be approved. The document must be signed in front of witnesses who then attest to the event in order to be legitimized by the court system.

The testator's signature is to appear at the end of the will. Nothing attached to the document below the signature can invalidate the agreed upon terms described in the body of the will. The only point of interest proceeding the testator's signature is the attestation clause. Someone can sign for the testator in their presence and under their direction, but the person providing the assistance is required to include their own name and address on the document as well.

A will cannot be approved if the person signing the testator's name does not provide his or her own signature as well. Forgetting to include their address, however, is permissible. The person signing for the testator does not qualify as a witness who can attest to the legitimacy of the document. State law requires at least two witnesses two attest to the testator's signature and supply their own signatures and addresses in writing within a 30-day period.

People who need assistance writing a will or understanding more about the state requirements may benefit from consulting legal counsel. Lawyers may be able to perform a comprehensive review and evaluate of the testator's estate, potentially minimizing the risk of adverse outcomes from arising for beneficiaries in the future.

Source: Findlaw, "NY Code - Section 3-2.1: Execution and attestation of wills; formal requirements - See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/EPT/3/2/3-2.1#sthash.PgbWnyKz.dpuf", October 13, 2014

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