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Lost Will Hearings – Estate Litigation & Probate Law Attorneys

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    Creating a last will and testament is a legal way of protecting your estate when you pass away. Learn how to find a lawyer to write a will in Queens to ensure you do everything by the letter of the law. But even if you create a legal document, it may go missing. When this happens, turn to a lawyer for deceased individuals to represent your heirs in a lost will. Call the Albert Maimone & Associates, P.C. law practice for trusted legal guidance.

    What’s Considered a Will in New York State?

    A last will and testament in the State of New York is a legal tool that allows you to specify exactly how your estate is to be shared or distributed upon your death. The New York Consolidated Laws, Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (Section 3-1.1) details the requirements for a will to be considered valid. As the maker of the will, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind.

    For it to be valid, your will document must be in writing, with a date. You and two witnesses, neither of whom is mentioned in the will, must sign the document together. The witnesses must include their addresses under their signatures. The law provides limited exceptions for special circumstances, but these are the general requirements for making a will.

    When you rely on an experienced estate planning attorney who understands New York estate and probate law, you can be sure your will meets all legal requirements. When you want to know how to find a lawyer to write a will in New York City, seek out the law practice of Albert Maimone & Associates, where you get qualified legal advice on wills, trusts and estate planning.

    What Is a Lost Will?

    After you pass away, the New York Surrogate’s Court requires an original copy of the will as part of the petition for probate. In some cases, the family or executor may not be able to find the original copy, even though they know it existed. A will that’s known to have existed and hasn’t been revoked, but can’t be found, is considered a lost will. Ways to find a lost will include:

    • Contact the court clerk’s office to obtain the probate file. Some counties register wills, and you may access the will as a public document. If the clerk declines to provide the file, use an experienced New York estate planning attorney to file a case to access the file.
    • Consult other family members or close friends for any information about the will’s location.
    • Ask the lawyer for the deceased and ask if they prepared the will and if they have an original or certified copy. Personal lawyers may also have an idea about the location of the original will.
    • Go through the deceased’s belongings only if you have the authority. Check personal files, all computers, any lock box and the home safe.
    • Inquire the deceased’s banker to check if there is a safe deposit box. Every financial institution has clear guidelines on how to gain access legally to a safe deposit box after the death of its owner.
    • Contact the decedent’s advisers, including the financial advisor, CPA and insurance agent. These professionals may have an idea where the deceased stored the original will.
    • Hire a lost will attorney if you can’t find the original will.

    A lost will disrupts the administration of the estate and may lead to disputes in how the deceased’s properties and assets are shared or distributed. With no valid will, the decedent’s estate becomes subject to the state laws of distribution. The best NYC will probate lawyer guides you through a lost will hearing. A lawyer for deceased individuals helps families in these situations.

    What Happens When There’s a Lost Will?

    A will takes effect after your death. You can change or revoke the contents at any time up until then. If your family can’t find your will, the presumption in law is that you revoked the will by destroying it. In the New York Surrogate Courts, the mechanics of a lost will include:

    • Determination that the will wasn’t revoked. If your heirs prove that the you never revoked the will, the court sets that presumption aside.
    • Probate hearing. An application for a lost will leads to litigation in probate court. The court requires testimony to prove the existence of the will. At a lost will hearing, your heirs also provide proof that you never revoked the will.
    • Admitting the copy. The New York Surrogate Court provides for admission of evidence of the original will under Section 1407 of the probate procedure. If the original will is lost or if the will was destroyed in a fire, you need two witnesses who can testify to the existence of the original will.

    If the will was known to be in your possession before your death, but your heirs can’t find it, hire a probate attorney to get involved in the case. The risk of the court determining the will as revoked likely affects the distribution of your assets. In a lost will hearing, your probate lawyer files evidence of the will’s contents and requests that the court admit it in place of the original will.

    Is a Lawyer Necessary for a Last Will & Testament?

    A last will and testament is a crucial legal tool that details the fair distribution of your wealth to your heirs. A valid will ensures that you protect your assets and saves your family a lot of stress when you pass away. To write a valid will, you don’t need an attorney, but the legal guidance helps. Learn how to find a lawyer to write a will to:

    • Prevent you from writing a will with serious mistakes
    • Ensure legal compliance with New York laws
    • Help you prepare for contingencies
    • Secure the original will or a copy for a probate hearing
    • Create a custom will to suit your unique situation
    • Guide you to a fair distribution of your wealth
    • Specify how your businesses are run upon your death
    • Represent your heirs in probate

    At the Albert Maimone & Associates law practice, you find a lawyer for deceased person contingencies. The lawyers at this boutique firm offer a free consultation and case evaluations within 48 hours.

    How Do I Find a Lawyer to Write a Will?

    Learning how to find a lawyer to write a will isn’t easy in a city the size of New York. To ensure the best legal guidance on your last will and testament, consider factors that include:

    • Referrals and recommendations from family, friends or colleagues
    • Online reviews and testimonials
    • A listing at the local bar association
    • Extensive experience in estate planning, living trusts and advance directives
    • Communication skills from the initial contact to the consultation

    The estate planning lawyers at the law offices of Albert Maimone & Associates in Queens, New York represent individuals and businesses. This law firm serves the boroughs of NYC — Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn — as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties. Contact the best lawyers for lost will hearings in Queens today for dedicated legal representation and guidance.

    Albert Maimone & Associates P.C.

    127-16 14th Avenue
    College Point, Queens, NY 11356
    (718) 357-1216

    Page Updated on Mar 17, 2024 by Albert Maimone, Esq., (Lawyer) of Albert Maimone & Associates P.C.