New York Last Will and Testament Template

Create a high quality document online now!

Updated May 13, 2022

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.

Table of Contents


Definition – (NY Est Pow & Trusts L § 1-2.19 (2014))- “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”.

Signing Requirements (Section 3-1.1) – 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.

Statutes – EPT – Estates, Powers & Trusts

Guide – Frequently asked questions and a guide to writing a will for New York residents.

Video – How to Make a Will in New York

How to Write

Step 1 – Provide ownership of the document by placing the name of the testator at the top of the document, followed by:

  • Name of the testator
  • City of residence
  • County of residence
  • Review of the remainder of the section
  • Reading of  the Expenses and Taxes section

Step 2 – Appointment of the Executor–

  • Testator may enter their chosen executor
  • City
  • County
  • Residential State

Choice of an alternate representative will ensure that there will always be a trusted representative to execute the estate in the manner in which the testator has set fourth in the event that the initially selected representative is, at any point, unable to perform the estate’s distribution- Provide the following:

  • The name of the next selected representative
  • The City
  • The County
  • Executor’s State of residence

Step 3 – Disposition of Property – Beneficiaries:

Beneficiaries  – The following information is required:

  • Name of each beneficiary respectively
  • Provide an address for each beneficiary
  • What is the beneficiary’s relationship to the testator
  • Enter the last four digits of the Social Security Number for all named beneficiaries
  • Provide the description(s) of any property that the testator will gift to each beneficiary

Step 4 – Review all of the titled sections, as follows:

  • Omission
  • Bond
  • Discretionary Powers of Personal Representative
  • Contesting Beneficiary
  • Guardian Ad Litem  Not Required
  • Gender
  • Assignment
  • Governing Law
  • Binding Arrangement

Step 5 – Signatures/Witnesses – Persons who shall serve as signatories, must all be present at the time of the signing of the document. Provide the following:

  • Testator
  • Date the testator’s signature in dd/mm/yyyy format
  • Signature of testator
  • Print the testator’s name in the field provided

Witnesses – Witnesses must review the statement provided an provided:

  • The signatures must be dated – dd/mm/yyyy
  • Name of testator

Witness 1 – 

  • Signature of witness
  • Current Address

Witness 2 –

  • Signature of witness
  • Current Address

Step 6 – Affidavit of Testament – Must be carefully reviewed by all and the following must be provided:

  • The State
  • The County
  • Name of Testator
  • 1st Witness’ name
  • 2nd Witness’ name
  • After which provide:
  • Testator’s own signature
  • 1st Witness signature
  • 2nd Witness signature

Step 7 (Optional) – Notary Public –The remainder of the document, once all signatures have been witnessed, will be completed by the notary as required.

Related Forms

Advance Directive

Download: Adobe PDF




Durable (Financial) Power of Attorney

Download: Adobe PDF