August 2nd, 2010
If you die without a will, your assets are distributed to your loved ones under the laws of intestancy. The intestancy laws determine who will receive your property. A judge may make a decision as to who will raise your children. How can you control the future for your children and your assets? Simply stated, write a will. A will allows you to deal with your legal affairs in the event of your death. Is a simple will enough? Yes, if you do not have significant assets then a simple will is all that you need.
In the basic family structure a simple will involves a husband leaving his assets to his wife. If his wife should predecease him, he most often would leave his assets to his children. If his children should predecease him, he would typically leave his assets to his grandchildren.
If you write a will, it must be probated. Probate proceedings involve proving the validity of the will. In New York, probate is not a complicated or long process.
Writing A Will:
If you decide to have a simple will, it is necessary to go to the office of an attorney to have the document prepared. Attorneys usually charge a modest fee to prepare a will. Do not try to write your own will using a software program, a will drafting book, etc. In our experience, these wills often do not meet basic statutory requirements and are rejected when they are submitted to a court for probate. Do yourself a favor and hire a lawyer to write your will.
Should you have any questions about will drafting, contact the lawyers at the law office of Elliot Schlissel for a consultation, by email or at 1-800-344-6431.