Things to Consider When Writing a Will
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows a person to bestow their assets with whomever they wish following their death. While you may be considering your estate planning documents, there are certain things to specifically consider when writing a Last Will and Testament (will).
Requirements for a Valid Will
In order to make a valid will in the state of New Jersey, you must be over the age of 18 and of sound mind. The will must be in writing and signed at the bottom, and two witnesses must be a witness to the actual signature of the person signing the will. It is important to consider that if you make the decision to execute a will outside of New Jersey, the laws of that state regarding the requirements of a valid will should apply instead of those of the state of New Jersey.
The state of New Jersey does not officially recognize oral wills (wills that are simply spoken.) However, the state of New Jersey will take a will that is handwritten and put it through the probate process to determine if it is valid. The will would have to be in the testator’s own handwriting. These types of handwritten wills are also called “holographic” wills.
Property Distribution and Minor Children
A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that can be contested and argued in the probate process following your death. It is extremely important to have this document executed correctly, or anyone may attempt to file a claim against your estate in the probate process. If you are divorced and share visitation and legal custody of a child, you should make sure that your will takes into account all of your wishes for your child. Additionally, you will need to make determinations as to how to distribute property and assets to your children following your death. In some cases, a Trust will work better for this, however, every case is unique, and visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure that your beneficiaries and heirs receive what is rightfully theirs. If any part of a will is not executed correctly, others may have a claim to your estate. Given that the probate process is a public one, any person can see that your estate is going through probate and attempt to file a claim against it.
Contact an Experienced Estate Attorney Today
If you are attempting to create a Last Will and Testament or another type of estate planning document in the state of New Jersey, you should contact an experienced will and trust attorney at the law firm of Giro Law at 201-690-1642. We can help work with you to ensure your legal rights remain protected following your death and that all of your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes.