New York Last Will and Testament Template

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Updated March 16, 2023

A New York last will and testament is an estate-planning document that directs how a testator’s (person to whom the will belongs) real and personal property, fiduciary funds, digital assets, and other financial accounts will be distributed after their death. Testators can select designated beneficiaries on their will and stipulate detailed instructions regarding the portion of the estate each is entitled to receive. Wills are crucial when distributing the testator’s estate among their spouse, children, friends, blood relatives, and even charitable organizations.

Under New York law, a will must be signed by two (2) witnesses within at least thirty (30) days of acknowledging the testator sign the document. And though optional, a testator can have the will notarized by a state-recognized notary public to add an extra layer of legal protection. Wills may be amended or revoked at the discretion of the testator.

Guide – FAQ and a guide to writing a will for New York residents.

Table of Contents


Signing Requirements

Signed be at least two (2) Witnesses who shall attest to the testator’s signature within one thirty (30) day period and shall affix their residence addresses at the end of the will. (Section 3-1.1)

State Definition

Will” is an oral declaration or written instrument, made as prescribed by 3-2.1 or 3-2.2 to take effect upon death, whereby a person disposes of property or directs how it shall not be disposed of, disposes of his body or any part thereof, exercises a power, appoints a fiduciary or makes any other provision for the administration of his estate, and which is revocable during his lifetime. Unless the context otherwise requires, the term “will” includes a “codicil”.

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