Mullica Hill Wills Lawyer
Mullica Hill Wills Lawyer
New Jersey Wills Attorney Serving Clients in Mullica Hill
Making a will, which is also known as a last will and testament, is usually part of any estate planning process in Mullica Hill, New Jersey. There are many different reasons to make a will. New Jersey residents make wills so that they can leave assets to loved ones or to organizations they care about, to name a person to serve as the administrator or executor of the will to ensure that property is disbursed according to their wishes, to name a person they trust to serve as the guardian of their minor children and to name a person who can manage assets for minor children. Whether you are young or old, or healthy or chronically ill, and regardless of whether you have limited resources or a substantial income, you should consider making a will in New Jersey.
A will can give you peace of mind, allowing you to know with certainty that your valued assets will be distributed to the ones you love and that your children will be taken care of even if you are no longer present. An experienced Mullica Hill wills lawyer can begin working with you today to create a valid and enforceable will in New Jersey.
What is a Last Will and Testament in Mullica Hill?
How does New Jersey law define a will? According to the New Jersey Revised Statutes, a will “means the last will and testament of a testator or testatrix and includes any codicil and any testamentary instrument that merely appoints an executor, revokes or revises another will, nominates a guardian, or expressly excludes or limits the right of a person or class to succeed to the property of the decedent passing by intestate succession.
A person who makes a will is known as a “testator” or “testatrix,” and a codicil is an addition to an original will that adds to or changes the existing document.
For a will to be valid, it needs to have specific requirements that you should discuss with your Mullica Hill wills attorney. Notably, will need to be in writing to be valid. While some states allow a person to make what is known as a “nuncupative will,” which is a will made orally, New Jersey law does not allow nuncupative wills. There are several other requirements, as well, that you should discuss with an attorney to ensure that the terms of your will can be upheld or enforced during the probate process.
Requirements for Making a Valid and Enforceable Will in Mullica Hill
What are the specific requirements for a New Jersey will in Mullica Hill to be valid? New Jersey law requires all of the following for making a valid will:
- You must be 18 years old or older;
- You must be of sound mind;
- Your will must be in writing;
- Your will must be in hard-copy form (i.e., an electronic-only will may not be valid);
- You must physically sign your will (or acknowledge if another party is signing on your behalf);
- Two witnesses must witness your signing of the will; and
- Those two witnesses must also sign the will in a reasonable time from the point at which you signed or acknowledged the will.
To clarify, you can certainly make a will on an electronic device like a computer or smartphone and print it out. Wills should be typed, although it is possible that a handwritten will can be valid in New Jersey. The key is that you cannot leave the will in electronic-only form. It must be printed in a hard copy, and you must physically sign that hard-copy document, and your two witnesses must also sign that physical hard-copy document.
Who can witness your will? Aside from having adults aged 18 or older witnessing the will, there are no specific requirements for who can serve as a witness. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that having two witnesses with no stake in the will is often best. While New Jersey law does allow you to have witnesses who are listed as heirs in your will, you may be able to avoid suggestions of impropriety that could lead to a will contest if you have two.
Who Can Serve as an Executor for a Mullica Hills, New Jersey Estate
You should name the executor of your choice in your will. The executor is the person you are trusting to administer your estate after you pass away. In general, your executor should be 18 years of age or older and a U.S. citizen.
New Jersey Intestacy Law and Dying without a Will in Mullica Hill
What happens if you die without a will in New Jersey? When a person dies without a will, New Jersey law says that person died “intestate” and New Jersey intestacy laws apply. When New Jersey intestacy laws apply to a person’s estate, that means New Jersey law will determine how a deceased person’s assets are distributed and anything the deceased may have said during his or her lifetime about distributing property will not have an effect.
If a person dies intestate and has a spouse but no descendants and no living parents, then the spouse will inherit everything. If a person has descendants but no spouse, then the deceased’s children will inherit everything. When a person has a spouse and descendants, and the descendants are from the marriage to the spouse, the spouse will inherit everything. The laws of intestate succession become more complicated when there are multiple survivors. In such cases, New Jersey law awards percentages of assets to certain survivors, depending on the survivors’ relationship to the deceased.
Contact Our Mullica Hill Wills Attorneys Today
Do you have questions about making a will in New Jersey, or are you ready to work with one of our Mullica Hill will lawyers to create a valid last will and testament? Our firm regularly assists residents of New Jersey and Pennsylvania with a wide range of estate planning documents and tools. We can answer any questions you have about making a will today, and we can begin working with you to create your will. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or contact us by phone at (856) 281-3131 for more information about the estate planning services we provide.
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