Bloomberg Law
Jan. 24, 2020, 5:20 PM

New York Lawyer Has to Keep 500 Wills Indefinitely

Melissa Heelan Stanzione
Melissa Heelan Stanzione

A New York lawyer who has more than 500 wills where the testators’ locations can’t be determined with due diligence has to hold onto them indefinitely, the state bar association said.

In such situations, a lawyer “must safeguard the wills indefinitely unless the law provides an alternative,” Thursday’s advisory opinion said.

The lawyer prepared some of the wills but came into possession of most of them via several law firm successions, the opinion said. Some are more than 70 years old, it noted.

A search of office records, the internet, and the surrogate’s court in the county where the attorney’s ...

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