When a Last Will & Testament is offered for probate, it does not enjoy any presumptions of having been validly executed. Instead, the proponent of the LW&T has the burden to prove, by a preponderance of evidence, that the LW&T was executed with all the formalities required under NY Law.

Elements of Due Execution in New York:

  1. The Testator must sign the LW&T at the end of all of its terms. Any provisions in a LW&T after a testator’s signature is considered invalid and will be given no effect.

  2. The testator must ask the two attesting witnesses to sign the LW&T and at least two attesting witnesses must execute the LW&T.

  3. The two attesting witnesses to the will must know it is the testator’s LW&T, must know the signature of the testator and must sign the LW&T within a 30 day period.