Are You a Legal Professional?

New York Wills Laws

Laws governing the drafting, signing, and enforcement of wills are fairly similar among U.S. states. As in many other states, New York's wills laws require the testator (the person writing the will) to be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. New York also recognizes oral (or "nuncupative") wills, but generally only if made by members of armed forces while in actual military or naval service during a war or other armed conflict. The same goes for New York holographic wills, which are handwritten.

Highlights of New York's wills laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Making a Will and Revoking, Challenging, or Changing a Will sections to learn more.

Code Section Estates, Powers & Trusts §§3-1.1, et seq.
Age of Testator 18 years or older. and of sound mind and memory
Number of Witnesses Signed at the end by testator or acknowledged in presence of two attesting witnesses; witnesses must attest to testator's signature within 30 days, and at testator's request, sign their names and residence addresses at the end of the will.
Nuncupative (Oral Wills) Valid only if made by members of armed forces while in actual military or naval service during a war or other armed conflict, person who serves with or accompanies an armed force engaged in such activity, or mariner at sea
Holographic Wills Same provisions as for nuncupative wills and written entirely in testator's handwriting.

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York estate planning attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law:

Related Resources for Wills Laws:

Next Step Search and Browse
Contact a qualified attorney.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)