New Jersey Lawyers for Wills
A last will and testament, or more commonly called a will, is a helpful construct to help protect your family and your assets in the event of your death. By speaking with a wills lawyer, you can help to prepare your own estate for your passing. In New Jersey, just as in other states, there are specific requirements you must take in order to ensure the legitimacy of your will. Let’s take a quick look at the various components of a will so you can get a better idea of what you’ll be preparing alongside your experienced lawyer.
What’s In A Will?
As you learned above, a will is a document that allows you to identify who you want to give your assets to upon your death. Therefore a will is used to:
- Name A Trusted Person To Manage Your Property
- Name An Executor To Ensure The Terms Of Your Will Is Carried Out
- Name A Trusted Person To Take Guardianship Of Your Minor Children
- Specify Who Your Property Is To Be Left To
What Are The Legal Requirements For A Will?
When you’re constructing a will, there are two specific requirements that must be met in order for it to be considered a legal document in the state of New Jersey.
1.) You must affix a signature to your will with two witnesses present.
2.) Both of your witnesses must sign your will as well.
Unlike in other states, wills don’t need to be notarized in the great state of New Jersey. However, if a will is notarized, it’s considered self-proving. For you to better understand what this means, let’s run through the process that occurs when a will is executed.
The probate process happens when wills are executed. The court will proceed to contact the witnesses who signed the will to verify their identity. This can obviously take some time. When you have a self-proving will, this process can be sped up as the court accepts the identity of both witnesses. This is because the person whose will it is and the two witnesses all initially go to a notary and have their identity checked at the time the will is signed.
What Happens Without A Will In New Jersey?
If you die without a will in place, your property will be distributed according to the New Jersey state intestacy laws. This states that your property goes to your closest living relatives. The order starts with your spouse and your children. In the event you have no living children or spouse, your property will go to your grandchildren or your parents. After this point, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and then your spouse’s relatives come in line. In the event you have no blood relatives living, your property will be seized by the state.
Should You Hire A Lawyer Or Complete A Will Yourself?
It’s completely possible for you to draw up your own will. However, realize that a wills lawyer is there to assist you in completing the process correctly. They’re there to ensure that your will is executed as you wish. Without the help of an experienced lawyer, it’s possible for your will to be contested after your death. This could potentially mean that the people who you named as your beneficiaries may end up with nothing and others who you didn’t name can end up with your assets. A good lawyer for wills will be able to help you construct a will that won’t get contested after your death.