How To Make A Will In New Jersey: A Step-By-Step Guide

May 16, 2024

How To Make A Will In New Jersey: A Step-By-Step Guide

Creating a will in New Jersey is a big step towards making sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes after your passing. Understanding the process of making a will can help individuals work through this important legal procedure effectively. In this short but informative guide, we’ll provide a step-by-step approach to how to make a will in New Jersey.

Understand New Jersey Will Requirements

The first step in how to make a will in New Jersey is to understand the state’s legal requirements. To create a valid will in New Jersey, you must be of sound mind and at least 18 years old. The will must be in writing, signed by you in the presence of two witnesses, and those witnesses must also sign the will in your presence.

Take Inventory of Your Assets and Debts

Before drafting your will, compile a full list of your assets and debts. This inventory should include bank accounts, personal belongings, investments, real estate, vehicles, and any liabilities such as mortgages or loans. Knowing the extent of your estate will guide decisions on how to distribute your assets.

Determine Your Beneficiaries

Identify the individuals or organizations (beneficiaries) you wish to inherit your assets. This may include family members, friends, charities, or other entities. Be specific about what each beneficiary will receive to avoid ambiguity or potential disputes.

Appoint an Executor

Select a trusted person to serve as the executor of your will. The executor’s task will include paying off debts, managing your estate, and distributing assets according to your instructions. Make sure the chosen executor is willing and capable of fulfilling this role.

Consider Guardianship for Minor Children

Designate a guardian(s) in your will to care for minor children (if you have any) in the event of your death. Discuss this responsibility with the chosen guardian(s) beforehand to ensure their willingness to take on this role.

Consult with New Jersey Will and Trust Attorneys

Get guidance from experienced New Jersey estate planning lawyers or will and trust attorneys. They can provide legal advice specific to New Jersey laws and assist in drafting a legally sound will that reflects your intentions. An attorney’s expertise helps to guarantee that your will complies with all state requirements and minimizes the risk of challenges.

Draft Your Will

Based on your decisions and consultations, draft your will. Be clear and concise in outlining how you want your assets distributed and any specific instructions for the executor. Include provisions for alternate beneficiaries and contingencies to cover unforeseen circumstances.

Sign and Execute Your Will Properly

Once your will is drafted, arrange for the final signing and execution. Follow New Jersey’s guidelines for signing the will in the presence of two witnesses who must also sign the document. This step is necessary to validate the will and make it legally binding.

Store Your Will Safely

After execution, store your will in a secure location such as a safe deposit box or with your attorney. Inform your executor and trusted family members or friends where the will is located so it can be accessed when needed.

Review and Update as Needed

To reflect any changes in your circumstances or wishes, regularly review your will. Life events such as marriage, divorce, births, or considerable asset acquisitions should prompt updates to your will. Consult with your attorney to make necessary revisions.

Crafting a Comprehensive Will

A well-drafted will is the cornerstone of a strong estate plan, making sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes. At Choi Law Firm, our skilled attorneys guide you through the intricate process of creating a legally binding will. 

We carefully assess your unique circumstances, advise on the most appropriate strategies, and draft a complete document that accounts for every detail. From appointing executors and guardians to specifying beneficiaries and asset distribution, we leave no stone unturned. 

Trust Choi Law Firm to craft a will that provides you with the assurance that your legacy is secure. Please call 201-613-5557 today or use our online form to schedule a consultation.

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