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85 Main Street, Kingston, New York 12402
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Ulster County Estate Planning Lawyers Draft Your Will

Our personal attention and meticulous care help secure your legacy

For a variety of reasons, every adult should have a will. Your will allows you to transfer wealth in the manner you see fit, according to your affections and values, rather than New York State’s laws of inheritance. It allows you to have a say in how you will be remembered. And it is the last declaration of love you make to your family and close friends. At Cook, Kurtz & Murphy, P.C., our firm has been helping clients in Ulster County execute wills for more than a century. We are highly experienced and work efficiently to produce sound documents that accurately record your intentions in terms the court can enforce.

Executing your will to withstand any legal challenge

When you create a will, you want a document that your executor can take into court and get approved without problem. So, you have to execute that will with all proper formality and in clear, concise terms a court can readily interpret. Finally, you want your will to be complete so that you don’t leave your beneficiaries wondering how to dispose of leftover assets. Common problems with wills include:

  • Defective execution — The will isn’t written, signed, or witnessed as required by law, so there is no way to conclude it is a valid expression of the testator’s intentions.
  • Lack of capacity — The person who made the will, or the testator, was suffering from dementia, mental illness, or emotional troubles at the time the will was executed, and therefore was not sufficiently “of sound mind” to create a will.
  • Undue influence — Someone close to the testator manipulated the process to his own advantage.
  • Vagueness — The will is unclear about the assets or the beneficiaries to which it refers, so the court cannot say with certainty who gets what.
  • Partial intestacy — The testator forgot to include certain property in the will, so that property must pass to heirs according to the state’s laws of inheritance.

Our attorneys take meticulous care to create valid wills that win easy approval in the probate court.

The best time to draft and update your will

There is no right age for you to consider writing a will. If you are an adult without a will, the best time to draft one is now. Although no one likes to dwell on mortality, tomorrow is promised to no one, so today is the best day to make sure you’ve taken care of your loved ones. If you already have a will, you should think about updating it every three to five years, as your life circumstances and finances change. It’s especially necessary to update a will after you’ve alienated a major asset you’d planned to leave a loved one, after a divorce, or after an intended beneficiary has passed away.

Understanding the limitations of a last will and testament

Your will is an essential part of an estate plan, but for many people it is not sufficient. Due to estate taxes, a will might not be the most cost-effective way to transfer wealth. You might want to put conditions on a bequest, rather than giving it outright. Also, receiving a lump-sum inheritance might not be in the best interest of your beneficiary. When you consult with us about a will, we can explain other estate planning options that can deliver optimal results for you and your heirs.

Call our Kingston estate planning law firm for a will consultation today

At Cook, Kurtz & Murphy, P.C., we strive to provide the best possible estate planning advice for our Ulster County clients. Call us to schedule a consultation at 845-943-2498 or contact us online. We are located in the Old Dutch Church neighborhood of Kingston, just one block from the Ulster County Courthouse, and we offer weekend and evening appointments as needed.