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Diva

Will in NY State

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My sister, who is in NY State has been told that she needs to list all relatives, including cousins,(she is not married) and I am her only sibling, in her will--this seems unnecessary or is that some kind

of NY law? 

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No, it wouldn't be a law requiring mention. Cousins wouldn't be heirs at law that she'd need to worry about contesting a will. If she died without a will, any living parent would be heir by law. No living parents means sibling(s) inherit. It may be someone is thinking about you being dead and your sister not accounting for that in the will by naming alternate person(s) or entity(ies) to inherit. So I suppose there may be some obscure notice requirement someone has in mind, but ...

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My sister, who is in NY State has been told that she needs to list all relatives, including cousins,(she is not married) and I am her only sibling, in her will

 

Told by whom?  I'm guessing that whoever told her is not an attorney.

 

 

 

this seems unnecessary

 

I agree -- especially if one interprets the word "relative" broadly.  In fact, if the person who told your sister this actually used the term "relative," instead of something more specific, it is a rather clear indication that whoever told her this doesn't know what he/she is talking about.

 

 

 

or is that some kind

of NY law? 

 

 

No, it wouldn't be a law requiring mention.

 

"Wouldn't be"?  Actually, it is not (some kind of) a law.  Under New York law, the general requirements for a valid Will are as follows:  (1) the testator (i.e., the person making the will) must be at least 18; (2) the testator must have sufficient mental capacity; (3) the will must be in writing (subject to exceptions that only apply to members of the armed forces or "mariners at sea") and signed by the testator; and (4) the will must be witnessed by at least two persons other than the testator (preferably persons who aren't getting anything via the will).  It is routine for a will to state whether or not the testator is married and has lineal descendants (i.e., children, grandchildren, etc.).  For an unmarried person with no lineal descendants, it is customary to identify his/her closest living relatives.  In your sister's case, it probably should state whether or not either or both parents are living and, if neither are living, to identify you as her only sibling.

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