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  • will/inheratance

    A cousin of mine recently died, he did not have a whole lot of assets and owned a rather broken down house but since it was on a Lakeshore, it increased its value somewhat. He also had about $10,000 in savings. Well he left a handwritten will of sorts saying that he wanted his partner of 16 years to essentially inherit everything. That is fine with me as I think she certainly deserves it being with him so long. Most of my other family members feel the same way except one brother who thinks that property should be split by all of us. Apparently $5000 was used to pay for the funeral

    The lady seems to be a sweet and decent person but very simple.she went to a lawyer who said the written note was not valid and essentially he died intestate. I don't know the qualifications of this lawyer but I do remember going to a seminar about contracts. This was put on by a top lawyer who argued contracts for a large legal office. I remember he said that if you write a contract on a blackboard and sign it and nobody erases it is considered valid....not sure that this applies to Wills but I imagine it would. He also said since this is happened in New York State that there is no common law, but I don't see what that has to do with anything. Can you not write a will and leave your assets to anybody?

    I think the thing is to prove that he wrote it.( I guess that's what's happening with Larry King right now.) So I think in Larry King's situation they are consider taking it to somewhat like a forensic handwriting expert that he wrote it.
    That brother that I referred to is also the executor. No one else wants anything to do with the property and they all feel that the lady deserves the house and any other assets.

    Although I have property in NYS, I really live two states away so can't help very much other than telling the one niece who is trying to fix this that she,should tell this long term partner that she should talk to another lawyer. My Niece says she's reluctant because he has almost no money and was laid off for the COVIT stuff and doesn't look like she'll be rehired.I/most of us do not want to see her cut out.

    Any ideas on this ?
    Tags: None

  • #2
    I think you will struggle for advice on here - this site deals with issues in the three jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. The requirements for the validity vary from State to State in the USA. As it happens, I used to practice in the State of New York - the requirements for a will to be valid in the State of New York are at EPTL 3-2.1


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