How can a staple lead to contesting a will?

You have carefully worked to legally construct your will. You have followed all the New York laws and filed your will properly. You have been exact with your wording and informed your family of your will’s contents in the hopes of avoiding anyone contesting it. With all this done, you probably think you can rest easy knowing your wishes will be carried out exactly as you have stated in your will with no problem. 

However, one move, which could occur before or even after you die, could put everything at risk. What is it? Removing the staple you used to secure all the pages of your will.

It is true. According to the New York State Unified Court System, removing the staple from a will could push it right in probate and lead to will contests . It allows for objections because it is altering the document. Any alteration provides a chance for someone to say the will is no longer in its original state. They could claim other changes were made as well. 

If you have removed the staple for any reason, such as to make copies, you must submit a notarized affidavit explaining why you removed the staple. It must also state where the document has been and that no changes have been made to the document. Failing to do this opens up the chance of the will being stuck in probate until it can be determined that no changes were made except the removal of the staple. This information is for education and is not for legal advice. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *