Last Will and Testament with attached codicil

This is a Personal Will with an attached codicil with some clauses specific to NY.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT

OF

[INSERT NAME]

   I, [INSERT NAME], currently residing at [insert current address], and born on [insert date of birth], being of sound body and mind, declare this my Will and revoke all prior Wills and Codicils.

ARTICLE ONE

DEFINITIONS

[Optional-use only if there are (1) ambiguous terms in the Will which require defining; (2) you would like to attach a special definition to an otherwise ordinary word – see “my children” below; or (3) if you would like to limit or broaden the definition of an otherwise ordinary word (see “personal property”)]

1. “Beneficiary” means the recipient of a bequest made by this Will.

2. “My children” means my unborn child whom is currently being carried by my spouse, and any other children born to or adopted by me after I execute this Will.

3. “My grandchildren” means any children born to or adopted by my children after I execute this Will.

4. “Residue” means any asset that is not specifically provided to a beneficiary or not effectively disposed of by this Will.

5. “Personal property” includes all of my clothing, furs, jewelry, household goods and furnishings, automobiles and all other similar property. “Personal property” does not include my book collection.

ARTICLE TWO

BEQUESTS

[Use this section for specific bequests for specific beneficiaries. Each section’s heading within this Article should identify the nature of the specific bequest. If the intended beneficiary has already been described in this Will, a sufficient description consists of (1) your relationship to the beneficiary and the beneficiary’s first name; or (2) the beneficiary’s full name. If the intended beneficiary is not related to you through blood, a brief reason as to why that bequest is for that beneficiary will help your Will avoid challenges and ambiguity. Remember, your intentions will be accorded more certainty the more descriptive you are.]

A. Real Property

1. [Insert address of real property desired for bequest]

I leave to [insert relationship to beneficiary- e.g., “my mother”], [INSERT FIRST BENEFICIARY’S NAME], currently residing at [insert first beneficiary’s address], if she survives me, title to my property located at [insert address of real property desired for bequest – this should be the same address used in paragraph (A)(1)’s heading]. If [INSERT FIRST BENEFICIARY’S NAME] does not survive me, I bequeath title to this property to my [insert relationship to beneficiary- see above], [INSERT SECOND BENEFICIARY’S NAME], currently residing at [insert second beneficiary’s current address]. If both [INSERT FIRST NAME OF FIRST BENEFICIARY] and [INSERT FIRST NAME OF SECOND BENEFICIARY] do not survive me, title of this property shall be sold. The revenue earned from this sale shall be placed into residue. If this property is no longer in my estate upon my death, this bequest has no effect.

2. [Insert desired address for bequest]

[The format of this paragraph is the same as the format of paragraph (A)(1) of this Article]

B. [Insert general description of the bequest- e.g., my wedding ring]

[The format of this paragraph is similar to that of paragraph (A)(1) of this Article. Remember to describe the item for bequest and the beneficiary of the bequest.]

I leave to [insert relationship to the beneficiary- e.g., “my mother”], [INSERT BENEFICIARY’S NAME], my [insert description of specific bequest- e.g., “my 5.4 karat diamond wedding ring”]. Upon my death, if [INSERT BENEFICIARY’S FIRST NAME], has predeceased me, my [insert same description of bequest as used in the preceding sentence] shall be sold.

C. Personal Property

[This is an example of the applying the definitions section, Article I, above. Here, “personal property” includes all of my clothing, furs, jewelry, household goods and furnishings, automobiles and all other similar property. “Personal property” does not include my book collection as prescribed in that section of this Will.]

My personal property shall be sold. The revenue earned from this sale shall be placed into residue.

D. Book Collection

[This is an example of how you can tailor your specific bequests to your wishes]

My [insert relationship to beneficiary], [INSERT NAME OF BENEFICIARY], currently residing at [insert beneficiary’s address], if she survives me, shall receive my book collection upon my death. If, at the time of my death, my book collection has a market value of less than $10,000, [INSERT BENEFICIARY’S FIRST NAME] shall receive my book collection plus cash such that the total market value of this bequest to [INSERT BENEFICIARY’S FIRST NAME] equals $10,000. [INSERT BENEFICIARY’S FIRST NAME] has always admired my book collection and this bequest is made to honor her dedication to my family and myself. If [INSERT BENEFICIARY’S FIRST NAME] does not survive me, or has been dismissed of her services prior to my death, she shall not receive any bequest and my book collection shall be sold. In the event that my book collection is sold, the revenue earned from this sale shall be placed into residue.

E. General Cash Bequests

1. To [INSERT NAME OF INTENDED BENEFIICARIES]

[The format of this paragraph is similar to that of those paragraphs above. Remember, the more descriptive you are the less likely this Will will be challenged]

ARTICLE THREE

TRUSTS

[This article is an example of how you can establish future interests for beneficiaries in your Will. You may prescribe who the money is for, how it shall be used, when it shall be used, etc.]

A. To my CHILDREN

[“CHILDREN” as defined in the definitions section above]

Upon my death, all stocks, bank accounts, and cash that I own, along with any property I acquire after the execution of this Will, shall be placed in a trust for my surviving CHILDREN. The property in this trust shall be shared equally by my surviving CHILDREN and shall maintain each beneficiary’s general health and welfare, including education. If any of my CHLDREN does not survive me, then each non-surviving CHILD’S share of this trust shall be shared equally by their surviving children, my GRANDCHILDREN, should they have any. Once a beneficiary becomes eighteen years of age, that beneficiary shall receive its share of the trust to be used however the beneficiary pleases. If no beneficiaries survive me, the property from this trust shall be placed into residue.

B. To [INSERT NAME OF INTENDED BENEFICIARY]

Upon my death, [desired amount] shall be placed in trust for my [insert relationship to beneficiary], [INSERT NAME OF BENEFICIARY], if she survives me. This bequest is made to express my love for my [insert relationship to beneficiary], who have significantly impacted my personal growth and development. The property in this trust shall be used to maintain the general health and welfare of the beneficiary. If the beneficiary survives me, the property in this trust shall be placed into residue.

C. TRUSTEE

[Here, lay out the trustee’s rights and duties]

My Personal Representative pursuant to this Will shall act as the trustee for all of the trusts provided by this Will. The trustee shall determine whether the conditions for a given trust, prescribed in this Article, have been satisfied such that the property in the relevant trust should be disbursed to its beneficiaries. Disbursements made in furtherance of a given trust’s purpose or to reimburse the trustee for reasonable expenses shall be made out of the interest accrued from investments within the corresponding trust, if possible. The trustee may invade the principal of a trust only if the trustee deems absolutely necessary to further the given trust’s purpose. Only the trustee may invade the principal of a trust.

ARTICLE FOUR

RESIDUE

[The Residue of your estate is all that is remaining less the specific bequests prescribed above. This Article lays out what is to happen with the residue of your estate.]

   The residue of my estate shall be placed into the trust for my CHILDREN, provided by Article 3(A) of this Will. If the CHILDREN’S trust no longer exists, the residue shall be placed into the trust for my [insert relationship to beneficiary], [INSERT NAME OF BENEFICIARY], provided by Article 3(B) of this Will. If the trust pursuant to Article 3(B) of this Will no longer exists, the residue shall be donated to a charity with a purpose consistent with [insert your wish]. In this instance, my Personal Representative shall select the charity to receive the residue of my property.

ARTICLE FIVE

APPOINTMENT OF POWERS

A. Guardian of my CHILDREN

“Guardian” means caretaker of the person and property of each of my surviving children who are not yet eighteen years old. Upon my death, [insert relationship to primary guardian], [INSERT NAME OF FIRST GUARDIAN], shall become the guardian. If [FIRST NAME OF FIRST GUARDIAN] is unable to act as guardian for any reason, [insert relationship to second guardian], [INSERT NAME OF SECOND GUARDIAN], shall become the guardian.

B. Personal Representative

[Your personal representative should be your lawyer or some other professional that is familiar with handling the type of matters a personal representative handles]

1. Nomination

The Personal Representative of my estate shall be [INSERT NAME OF FIRST PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE NOMINEE], [insert brief description of first personal representative nominee]. If [INSERT NAME OF FIRST PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE NOMINEE] is unable to act as my Personal Representative for any reason, my Personal Representative shall [INSERT NAME OF SECOND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE NOMINEE, [insert brief description of second personal representative nominee.]

2. Powers

My Personal Representative shall have full power over all of the assets in my estate, including the powers granted by law and those granted by this Will. My Personal Representative shall also act as trustee for the trusts provided by this Will, pursuant to Article 3(D) of this Will.

ARTICLE SIX

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

[This Article deals with those matters which frequently cause ambiguity and lead to challenges of a Will]

A. Beneficiary Under Eighteen Years Old

Any bequest to a beneficiary not yet eighteen years old shall vest in that beneficiary, with my Personal Representative entitled to the discretion to retain the asset until the beneficiary becomes eighteen years old. My Personal Representative may distribute all or part of a bequest to a beneficiary younger than eighteen years, if it is in the best interest of that beneficiary. If a beneficiary dies before reaching the age of eighteen, the relevant bequest shall be placed into residue.

B. Otherwise Incapacitated Beneficiary

Any bequest left to a beneficiary who is incapacitated for any reason shall be disbursed when the beneficiary is no longer incapacitated, dies, or when my Personal Representative deems it necessary, whichever comes first. My Personal Representative shall deem a beneficiary incapacitated, at his discretion, for the purposes of this Will.

C. Simultaneous Death Clause

For purposes of this Will, it shall be interpreted that I have survived a beneficiary if that beneficiary dies simultaneously with me or if circumstances cast doubt as to which one of us had died first.

D. Gifts Given to a Beneficiary During My Lifetime

Gifts given to a beneficiary during my lifetime which are provided by this Will to be bequeathed to that same beneficiary upon my death shall satisfy the corresponding bequest provided by this Will.

E. Insufficient Funds

If at the time of my death the value of my estate is insufficient to satisfy the entirety of this Will, the trusts provided by Articles 3(A) and 3(B) of this Will shall have priority over all other bequests, with the CHILDREN’S trust having highest priority. My Personal Representative shall allocate my estate in trust as necessary to provide the general welfare for those beneficiaries prescribed the relevant sections of this Will.

F. Omission Acknowledgements

[By acknowledging your conscious omissions, you guarantee that a person who would expect to be a beneficiary has no legal recourse when you don’t include them as a beneficiary- e.g., an uninvolved parent]

1. [INSERT NAME OF OMISSION]

Being of sound body and mind, and while under no duress, I acknowledge the omission of my [insert relationship to omission], [INSERT NAME OF OMISSION], whom currently resides in New York, address unknown, from this Will. [INSERT NAME OF OMISSION] has never supported me throughout my life. [INSERT NAME OF OMISSION] shall not receive any bequest.

I am signing this instrument, which is my Will, and which is typewritten on [insert the amount of pages used for this Will] sheets of paper, including this one, on [insert date]. I am signing immediately below in the presence of the three persons witnessing my signature at my request.

_____________________________________

[INSERT YOUR NAME]

   On [insert date], [INSERT YOUR NAME], Testator, declared to us that the above instrument was her Will. She requested that we serve as witnesses to her signing the Will. She signed the will in our presence, and there was no one else in the room at the same time. At her request, in her presence, and in each other’s presence, we sign below as witnesses. [witness sign below]

FIRST CODICIL TO THE WILL OF [INSERT YOUR NAME]

[A codicil is an instrument which changes selected provisions of your will. Use only if needed.]

   I, [INSERT YOUR NAME], residing at [insert your address], and born [insert your date of birth], declare this my first Codicil to my Will dated [insert the date this codicil is written.]

A. Amendments

1. The following portion of Article I(5) of my Will shall be revoked:

“‘Personal property’ includes all of my clothing, furs, jewelry, household goods and furnishings, automobiles and all other similar property. ‘Personal property’ does not include my book collection.”

   The revoked portion of Article I(5) of my Will shall be substituted with the following:

“‘Personal property’ includes all of my clothing, furs, jewelry, household goods, and furnishings, automobiles and all other similailr property. ‘Personal property’ does not include my book collection, film wardrobes, awards, or art collection.”

B. Ratification

Except for the amendments above in Section A of this Codicil, I ratify my Will.

   I am signing this instrument, which is a Codicil to my Will, and which is typewritten on [insert the number of pages used] sheets of paper, including this one, on [insert today’s date]. I am signing immediately below in the presence of the three persons witnessing my signature at my request.

____________________________

[INSERT YOUR NAME]

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