Wills Lawyers Helping Clients Plan for Their Loved Ones’ Futures in Jackson Heights, NY
Though we may prefer not to think about death, unfortunately, no one is getting out of this world alive. And when we go, the assets and property which we leave behind will likely end up in probate court, where debts will ultimately be settled, and remaining assets may then be distributed. But if there is no valid Last Will and Testament in place, then there can be no guarantee that our assets will be distributed to the intended beneficiaries according to our wishes. Additionally, without a strongly written will, there exists a higher chance of conflict between our loved ones as they argue and litigate over what they feel they rightly deserved to inherit.
For these reasons and many more, it is highly advisable that everyone in New York write a will to reflect their wishes. While it is possible to write a will without the assistance of an estate planning attorney, this is not recommended, especially for those with large estates or complex instructions.
The law firm of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP has been serving the New York community for decades in matters of estate planning, estate litigation, and asset protection. To speak to our lawyers about your Last Will and Testament, please contact our law office in Jackson Heights, NY.
Do You Really Need a Last Will and Testament?
Essentially everyone in NYC has an estate, though far fewer have taken the necessary steps to create an estate plan which protects your assets, property, and interests for your intended heirs and beneficiaries. It is never too early to begin estate planning and there is no such thing as being ‘too young’ to write your will. Nobody knows how long we have been on this planet of ours and the time to begin planning for the future is now, not later. After you are gone, there is no longer time to write a will or make sure that everything is legal and valid.
No one in New York is required by law to have a will. However, the creation of a will does make things easier for the family and friends we leave behind. Without a will, once our debts are resolved, our assets will be distributed by intestate succession. By this part of the law, the surviving spouse stands to inherit the entire estate or most of it, and other potential beneficiaries could end up getting nothing.
To ensure that you leave everything you want to the right people, you need to have a will in place.
What is Probate Court?
When someone passes away, their estate enters probate, where they will work to determine the validity of any existing will or estate plan documents. During this time, the executor of the estate will work to notify all necessary parties of the unfortunate death, and then begin to settle financial matters for the estate, such as settling debts, paying legal expenses and taxes, and monitoring any challenges to the will. Then the executor will track down all beneficiaries and begin distributing the remaining assets according to the wishes laid out in the will.
The probate process can take a long time to complete. In cases that result in estate litigation, the Surrogate’s Court of the State of New York will become more involved.
For help during probate court, hire the lawyers of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP. Our probate attorneys have years of experience helping clients through the complicated probate process and would be proud to assist you during this time.
By What Grounds Could an Interested Party Contest a Will?
Even among the closest families, there may be some occasions when stress and feelings of unfairness result in loved ones coming into conflict over their inheritance. While most inheritance disputes can be easily resolved, there exists the chance of emotional wounds and hurt feelings that could last for years and years.
Legally recognized interested parties, such as close family members and relatives, may have grounds to contest a will if they believe they have been treated unfairly.
Common grounds to contest a will include:
- Lack of Due Execution: If there were mistakes made in the creation, signing, and execution of the will, then it could be determined to be invalid.
- Undue Influence: If someone believes that an individual or group influenced or forced the will’s creator to doctor the language of the document under duress or with criminal intent, then the will may be invalid.
- Lack of Testamentary Capacity: If the creator of the will was not of sound mind at the time of drafting and signing the document, either because of deteriorating mental capacity or some other condition, then the will cannot be considered valid.
Contact the Wills Attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP to Schedule a Consultation
We can’t be there for our families after we’re gone, but we can put measures in place that see to their needs, like wills and trusts. To better understand the capabilities of a will, please speak with our lawyers and associates. Our law firm can provide useful legal guidance throughout the estate planning process, helping you better ensure that your family’s future is protected and secure.
Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP serves clients in Jackson Heights and the five boroughs of New York. We have years of experience helping clients better understand their legal needs and meet their goals. To speak with an NYC wills lawyer, please contact our law offices at 917-540-9772.