To find the requirements for a legal will in your state, visit a legal website in which each state's specific regulations and statutes are covered, such as LegalZoom. Although a last will and testament has the same purposes throughout the country, there are variations to the regulations according to the state of residency. Not adhering to a specific state's regulations may lead to an invalidation of the will, notes LegalZoom.
In the state of New York, for example, the last will allows the testator to set the terms of how he wants assets distributed among friends, family and even pets, according to LegalZoom. New York state courts have also held up terms of living wills, although there are no statutes specifically addressing the legal standing of such wills. Living wills set terms for the handling of assets if the testator becomes incapacitated.
A last will and testament in the state of New York allows a testator to choose guardians for children who are minors if both parents die, and it makes it easy to defer distributions to minors through trust provisions that can be set to change at a later time, reports LegalZoom. New York state also allows pet trusts that set up provisions for the lifetime care of beloved family pets.