Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

Hi, I live in Chicago but traveled to New York to visit my sick aunt in hospital since she doesn't have any close relatives in US besides me and my dad. Her son lives in Russia and they don't have good relationship. While I visited her she asked me to help her to make official document that says that I can inherit her Chase bank security deposit belongings in case if she dies. I wrote that statement on a paper and invited notary public person and witness to the hospital to officially seal the document. Would this document be legal to access her security box in the bank? She is in really bad condition staying in reabilitation center now and not able to walk to the bank to fill in any documents there. Thanks for your advise.

Asked on 1/07/17, 4:06 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Haber Law Offices of Michael S. Haber

A notarized letter does not meet the statutory requirements of a will. Even if that notarized letter would be enough (which it isn't), there are likely other assets that belong to her. If she were to pass away without a will, then her child or children (if she is not married at the time of her death) would inherit any assets that are in her name alone. A will is easy enough, and many attorneys will travel to a client's home, or even a hospital, so that a will may be properly signed. It makes sense to do things properly, because not doing it properly will likely yield results that are not in keeping with your aunt's preferences.

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Answered on 1/07/17, 5:31 pm
David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

No. She needs to execute a valid will.

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Answered on 1/07/17, 8:13 pm

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