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December 2014 Archives

Circumstances necessitating changes to a will or estate plan

New York residents who have prepared a will may know that a divorce, a remarriage or the death of a spouse will likely necessitate an evaluation of that document. In some circumstances, a will cannot be simply changed but must be completely revoked in order to be considered valid by a probate court.

Contesting a will during probate

As many New Yorkers may know, leaving a will when an individual dies is one way to assure that certain beneficiaries will inherit what the testator wished. Generally, the document goes through probate successfully. However, there are times that wills are challenged. This occurs most often when an individual believes that it does not express the testator's wishes for a variety of reasons.

Are holographic wills valid in New York?

In the state of New York, a holographic will may be considered valid only under certain circumstances. A holographic will is a will that is handwritten and not executed in accordance with state law. The holographic will is valid if created by a member of the armed services during actual military or naval service. It may also be valid if the testator accompanies an armed force during actual armed conflict.

What is a living will and do I need one?

While most people in New York may have heard of living wills, it may not be clear exactly what they are and how they differ from other wills. While a person's regular will discusses how their assets are to be handled after their death, a living will, by contrast, deals with major health care decisions while the person is still living.