The New York last will and testament is a legal instrument called to document a testator’s wish concerning the management of their physical and financial assets after their demise. It details how their property (which may include digital and fiduciary assets, real estate among many) shall be distributed between family members, friends or certain institutions and organizations. To be valid, the document is to be completed in the presence of two witnesses and a state notary public who acknowledges their signatures. This document can be subject to change or revocation, provided the testator is in sound mind.

How to Write Your Own Will in New York

In order to create a Last Will, please follow these simple steps mentioned below.

Step 1 – Grantor’s name

At the top of this document indicate name of the grantor, city and county of their residence. Moreover, the testator is supposed to familiarize themselves with the section “Expenses and Taxes”.

Step 2 – Assigning an Executor

The testator enters an executor’s name, address, city, county and state of residence. In case when a selected executor cannot carry out a will, the testator may additionally choose an alternate representative. For this matter the grantor should provide name, full address, county and state of the chosen alternate.

Step 3 – Distribution of Property

Next, the testator provides detailed information on each beneficiary (in case there is more than one), such as their full name, address, relationship to the author of a Will, the last 4 digits of their Social Security Number. Moreover, the grantor gives a description of the estate to be distributed to each beneficiary.

Step 4 – Binding Arrangement

The testator reads once more all the information entered and adds their name, the document’s date (the dd/mm/yyyy format), their printed name and the signature’s date (in the same format).

Step 5 – Signatures of Witnesses

Upon completion of a Will, it is to be signed by witnesses in a notary’s presence. The required format is signatures of each witness and their addresses.

Step 6 – Notarization

Once the Last Will is created and signed by the testator and witnesses, it is legalized by a notary. According to the procedure, the notary registers the names of all parties, namely the testator and the witnesses, who signed the document. Then the testator’s and witnesses signatures follow.

How to Make A Will in New York

New York State Will Requirements

Legal requirements for the New York Last Will and Testament can be found in Estates, Powers, and Trusts, § 3-2.1. According to it, a will is to be in writing (in cases of a holographic or nuncupative will please refer to § 3-2.2 for further information). At a minimum two witnesses shall attest the testator’s signature during one 30-day period and, following the request of the author of a will, enter their names and affix their full addresses at the end of the document. If a witness does not affix their address for any reason, it will not undermine the validity of the document.

Does a Will Have to be Notarized in New York?

No, the notarization of a Last Will in New York is not mandatory. Though in case the testator opts for a self-proving will, a notary is required.

Download a PDF or Word Sample New York Will