It is important for a New York domiciliary to engage is proper estate planning. A lot of time and effort usually goes into creating a Last Will, Living Trust, Health Care Proxy, Power of Attorney and other planning initiatives. It is always a tragedy when a well thought out estate is thwarted by errors relating to ambiguous or defective Will or Trust provisions or defective execution procedures.
The New York Surrogate’s Courts are filled with cases involving Contested Wills. Estate Litigation surrounding the preparation and execution of a Will not only disrupts the testator’s estate plan, it delays the settlement of an estate.
The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has discussed the requirements for executing a Last Will. Statutory requirements are contained in Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) section 3-2.1 entitled “Execution and attestation of wills; formal requirements”. When the guidelines of the statute are not explicitly complied with, the validity of the document may be questioned. Unless a Will is validated by the Surrogate’s Court and admitted to probate, the provisions and dispositions in the Will are not mandated to be followed. Even a slight variation can cause controversy.