When people die without a will, they essentially cede to New York’s Legislature the authority to determine what happens to their estate after they die. You don’t get a final say over what happens to all you’ve earned and accrued over your lifetime.
A will preserves your authority in such matters. This legal document ensures that the estate of the person who executed the will, referred to as a “testor,” is distributed in accordance to his or her wishes. Otherwise, the decedent’s assets will be distributed in accordance to New York’s laws of intestacy, meaning the estate will be split based on a hierarchy set forth by statute. Friends, unmarried partners, distant relatives, and charities will likely be excluded from this statutory scheme. By appointing a guardian in a will, a testor can ensure any surviving minor children are cared for by someone he or she trusts.
How We Can Help
For over 15 years, Tully Rinckey PLLC Partner Darren M. Swetz has been preparing wills for New Yorkers. Central New Yorkers may be tempted to execute a will by themselves by completing forms obtained online. Without the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, testors run the risk of improperly executing a will and not having their wishes carried out after they die. Our estate planning attorneys in Syracuse, N.Y. can help you with the following:
- Tax planning
- Disposition of property
- Ensuring compliance with New York’s witness and other requirements
- Appointment of the will’s executor
- Appointment of trustees
- Appointments of guardians for minor children
Testors are encouraged to regularly update their will so the provisions properly reflect any changes in the estate or deaths of listed heirs. Updating a will is especially important after a divorce. Testors’ should refrain from “penciling in” changes to their will, because courts may not recognize such informal amendments. Our estate planning attorneys in Syracuse, N.Y. can help testors formally amend a will by preparing what is called a “codicil.”
Call a Tully Rinckey PLLC estate planning lawyer in Syracuse, N.Y. We can represent individuals throughout Central New York, including Syracuse, Cicero, North Syracuse, Manlius, Liverpool, East Syracuse, Cazenovia, Baldwinsville, and DeWitt. To schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney, call 315-492-4700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to view a video about our consultation process.
Our office is minutes away from Destiny USA, formerly the Carousel Mall, and several courthouses. Located in Franklin Square, near exits for I-81 and I-690, our office is easy to get to and offers plenty of nearby parking.
If your legal matter is urgent, call 518-727-3593 to speak to an attorney 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The firm is responsive to the needs of current and prospective clients. We will respond to phone calls within normal business hours and e-mails within hours on the same business day. The quickest way to get a hold of us is by calling. During normal business hours, we have a client relations team that can put potential clients in touch with the attorney whom they need. If you call or e-mail us after hours, you should expect to hear from our office by the next business day.
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