Linda L. Kordes, Attorney at Law



wills and probatesA will is a document that provides for the distribution of one's (decedent's) property after her death.  Within the will the decedent nominates an Executor who is the person who steps in her shoes and carries on and settles her business after she has passed.  The primary reason to have a will is to make sure that the decedent's property is distributed in a way that the decedent-and not the state-wants.
For example, let's say Mary and Bob are married with two minor children.  Where Mary dies without a will, Bob shall inherit $50,000.00 plus one-half of the remainder; the balance would pass to the children.  If that distribution is inconsistent with Mary's wishes, then she needs a will.  What if both Mary and Bob die in an      accident?  Without a will, the court would appoint a guardian for the children absent the benefit of Mary and Bob's recommendations, recommendations that should have been included in their respective wills.
There are many more contingencies that can be addressed in a will, too numerous to enumerate here.  While it is possible for an individual to prepare and execute a will on her own, it is not suggested because of all of the technical requirements.

Note: This content is based upon the law as it exists today in New York State, and that it is general in nature and not designed to specific situations that may have additional facts not contemplated by the author.

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