The state of New York has specific requirements for executing a last will and testament, also known simply as a will.
Failing to follow these requirements could cause a court to invalidate your will.
Under New York estate law, your will must be in writing, and, as the testator, you must sign your name at the end of the document. If you cannot sign for yourself, someone you designate can sign your name in your presence and by your direction. This person must also sign his or her name and provide a residence address. A missing signature from the individual signing your name would invalidate the will.
As a testator, you must declare to two witnesses that the document bearing your signature is your will. Within a 30-day period, the witnesses must attest to your signature on the will as acknowledged in their presence. They must sign their names and provide their residence addresses at the end of the document.
A small estate
You will need to file your will in Surrogate Court. Before an executor can begin administering a decedent’s estate, a will must first go to probate. However, if the decedent’s personal property did not exceed $50,000, it becomes a “small estate” filing.
About staple removal
Keep your will in a safe place and in original condition. Under New York law, you must not remove the staples from your will since this could invalidate the document. If you do remove the staples, you must provide the court with a signed and notarized affidavit explaining the reason for staple removal, the location of the will since the signing and your belief that no changes occurred after that time.
You should ensure that you follow all requirements concerning your will to ensure your executor can honor your wishes after you pass.