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. Read More

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. Living wills are legal documents through which people can outline what care and Read More

Trusts and estate plans

While some people with very simple estates may not need to set up a trust, trusts can be a useful tool for many different people in New York who are in the process of estate planning. People who have a net worth of $100,000 and who have a sizable portion of assets held in real estate, art or business may benefit by using a trust. Some people want to direct that their assets be provided at different times Read More

Requirements for New York wills to be properly executed

Wills in New York must meet several criteria before they are executed properly by a probate court. First and foremost, they must be in writing rather than in the form of oral testimony. A will must be signed by the one who wrote it or by a person in his or her presence and at his or her direction. A person who signs for the one who wrote the will does not count as a witness to the will execution . At least two Read More

Charitable trusts in New York

Some people in New York might wish to set up a charitable trust so they can donate assets and income earned through it to various designated charities. It is important when people are wanting to set up a trust for this function that they do it in such a way as to avoid potential tax implications. The IRS tax code provides that a charitable trust is not a charitable organization, and thus any income the trust Read More

Trust structures may help with asset management

New Yorkers who want to ensure their possessions are managed properly may rely on wills and similar documents, but living trusts offer an alternative. These structures are notable in that their grantors can name themselves trustees and thus manage the assets they want to safeguard. In addition, other trusts, such as spendthrift trusts, can be included in a living trust so that beneficiaries are explicitly looked Read More

Queens spouses may have to fight for their rights

Spousal relationships can turn sour for many reasons, and in such situations, individuals may take actions that violate state law. Some spouses, for instance, attempt to disinherit their partners so that they don't receive their legally entitled portion of an estate following a death. Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C., strives to empower people so they can take advantage of laws designed to protect their best interests and Read More

What are the responsibilities of a fiduciary in New York?

A fiduciary is a person who is responsible for administering the estate of a deceased person. Depending on the circumstances, some fiduciaries will be referred to as executors, and some will be called administrators. An executor is a person who was named specifically in the deceased person's will as the individual who would be charged with managing the estate. When a person dies who had no will, the court will Read More

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 Read More

New York wills require specific elements

A will is a formal document that allows individuals to determine how their possessions will be distributed upon death. It requires very specific actions to be taken to prove the validity of its contents. Failure to meet those requirements may thwart the maker's intentions. New York requires a will to be signed by the person making it, or signed on his or her behalf by another at the individual's direction. There Read More