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Last Wills and Testaments – FAQs

1. What is a Last Will and Testament? A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows a person to express their wishes in terms of who is to receive their property/assets when they pass away.

2. What happens if I die without a Last Will and Testament? State law will determine who shall inherit your assets.

3. Who may make a Last Will and Testament? Any person, eighteen years age or older, of sound mind and memory.

4. Can I give my assets to an organization or charity under my Last Will and Testament? Yes.

5. What is an Executor? An Executor is a person you appoint in your Last Will and Testament who will carry out the terms of the Last Will and Testament.

6. Can a Testator/Testatrix change a Last Will and Testament after it has been signed? Yes, a Testator/Testatrix may change his/her Last Will and Testament. Your Last Will and Testament should always accurately reflect your current wishes.

7. What is “Probate”? Probate is the court proceeding to approve your Last Will and Testament.

8. Will all of my assets/property pass under my Last Will and Testament and go to Probate? No. Certain assets/property pass ‘by operation of law’, and therefore avoid probate. These include, but are not limited to, assets with joint owners, beneficiary designations and Trusts.

9. How much money do I need to justify writing a Last Will and Testament?
There is no minimum requirement. A Last Will and Testament is about distributing any and all of your assets as you wish, not about the value of your estate.

10.How do I make a Last Will and Testament? The Last Will and Testament must follow New York specific requirements. Please contact us at (516) 683-1717 to find out more information about creating your Last Will and Testament.

Note: These answers are informational only, based on New York law and are not to be considered legal advice.

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