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Online Wills in New York
While most of us don’t like to think about what will happen after we pass away, it’s still important to be prepared. This, of course, means having a solid estate plan or at least a last will and testament. But living in New York can be pretty expensive, and the cost of legal services in the state is also very steep, so many people put off this crucial task. However, you don’t have to, because you can create an affordable New York last will and testament using an online will-making service.
If you want to make an online will in New York, you have lots of options to choose from, depending on your preferences, needs, and budget. For example, online estate planning companies offer different payment structures, so you can choose between purchasing an individual document, package, or subscription. These services also have different features. For instance, many offer online chat support, and some even provide free or paid attorney consultations. If you want to learn more about what each company has to offer, check out our detailed reviews of online willmakers.
With over 19 million people living in the state, New York has the fourth biggest population in the country. Over 16% of New York state residents are over 65, and roughly 2.3% are older than 85, which is well above the US-wide average. This means that this state has a significant population of elderly residents who are most likely to be interested in estate planning services.
Population over 65
Population over 85
Average Household Size
Average household wealth
Lawyer hourly rate
New York state has an average household income of just above $100,000, which puts it in 24th place nationwide. However, this state ranks first for the total number of attorneys, third for the number of notaries, and second for the average hourly rate charged by attorneys. This means that while customers can find a provider of legal services fairly easily, many people cannot afford the steep rates charged by professionals that provide them. Thus, online will creation services can be of great help for New York residents.
Making a Will in New York
Yourself or authorized representative
Testator minimum age
The laws of New York state allow any person who is considered to be of sound mind and has reached 18 years of age to make a legally valid last will and testament. This document must be typewritten, as New York laws don’t allow for handwritten (holographic) or oral (nuncupative) wills, with the exception of service members participating in armed conflict or stationed at sea.
A NY will doesn’t need to be notarized or created in the presence of an attorney, but it must be signed by the testator or their representative and two witnesses. The witnesses can sign the document either separately or together within 30 days of the testator creating the will. The witnesses should also leave their home address on the document, although the absence of the address will not invalidate the document.
Changing or Revoking a Last Will and Testament Form in New York
New York law allows testators to make changes to their wills at any moment in time. If you want to amend your NY will, you need to create a codicil, which must be signed by the testator and two witnesses, just like a will. However, a codicil cannot be used to revoke a will.
A testator can revoke a will in New York by writing a new will, creating a document that clearly conveys the testator’s intent to revoke the existing document, or by physically destroying the current will. A will can be destroyed by the testator or by another individual who is directed to do so by the testator in the presence of the testator and two witnesses.
NY Health Care Proxy Form
A New York State health care proxy, more commonly known as medical power of attorney in other states, is a document that can be used by a testator to appoint a person who will make medical decisions on their behalf. This is needed if the testator becomes incapacitated at some point in life. You can create this document online without a lawyer and appoint anyone, including family members and friends, as your representative. However, you should be thoughtful when selecting a representative, as this person will be able to decide what treatments medical staff can administer, whether life-sustaining measures should be continued, etc. You can also limit the powers of your representative when creating a health care proxy in NY.
Does a New York last will and testament need to be notarized?
No, you do not have to get your will notarized to make it legally valid in New York.
What happens if you pass away without making a will in New York?
If you die without a will in New York, your estate will be divided among your family members in accordance with intestacy laws. Thus, your property will go to your children and spouse. If you don’t have a spouse or children, your parents and grandchildren will be next in line, followed by siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Can I make a digital will in New York?
New York’s last will and testament requirements currently do not consider digital wills legal. Thus, you must print out your will and sign it by hand.
How much does a will cost in New York state?
New York has the second-highest cost of legal services in the country, so a will there would most likely cost you several thousand dollars. However, you can make an online will for much less. Online wills often cost less than $100, and some options are even completely free.
Concluding Words About Online Wills in New York
A New York estate plan created by a lawyer in person can easily set you back several thousand dollars, because the cost of legal services in the state is the second-highest in the country. In light of this, many people go searching for New York last will and testament blank forms. But a much better option is to use an online will-making service to create a will that’s fully customized to both your situation and New York State’s last will and testament laws. This way, you can get a great document for under 100 dollars (or even cheaper!) and spend less than 30 minutes on it.