If you are a New York resident thinking about preparing your last will and testament, there are a few requirements to keep in mind. There are rules about the signature to the document and a curious but important reminder about staples.
About a New York will
Your will is a document in writing that provides information and instruction as to how you want your property managed and distributed after you die. For example, you can give directions about dividing the property among your chosen beneficiaries. You can also use the will to appoint a guardian for a minor child in the event of your death. You may file the will in Surrogate’s court. It will then go to probate upon your death at which point your wishes come to the fore. The executor you appoint will manage the probate process and, at the end of that time, must distribute your assets to your beneficiaries as you instructed.
The importance of the signature
During the execution ceremony, you will declare to your witnesses that the document you are signing is your will. If you are unable to sign as the testator, another person can sign in your stead at your direction. This person must also sign his or her own name and provide a residence address.
A warning about staples
Anyone who makes copies of your will must not remove the staples from the original document. Doing so could invalidate it. If there is a reason for removing the staples, the person doing so must provide the court with a notarized affidavit explaining why and affirming that there were no changes made to the document.