What is a Will?
A Will is a document that is created with the purpose of directing the distribution of their assets and possessions upon your death. It may also provide instruction for the personal and financial care of minor children. Title 3B of the New Jersey Statutes governs what must be incorporated in the Will for it to be valid.
Who Can Make a Will?
A person must be at least 18 years old and competent to create their Will. That means the person much have the mental capacity to understand the drafted document they are to sign. The Will must be signed, and that signature must be witnessed and notarized, which allows the Will to be self-proved at the time of its execution.
Can I Include Specific Property Not listed in My Will?
A Will may provide for the allowance of tangible property that has not been accounted in your Will, to be incorporated by a separate writing identifying that property. Money is specifically excluded. While permitted, the document must comply with N.J.S.A.3B:3-11 which states:
"A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must be either in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator's death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator after its preparation; and it may be a writing which has no significance apart from its effect upon the dispositions made by the will."
Can I Change My Will?
Changes to a Will are permitted but require the same formality of a writing with witnessed and notarized execution. As such, alterations to a Will are often best made by having a new Will drafted which will revoke all pre-existing Wills made. It is advisable that any existing Will be reviewed every few years. Changes, including but not limited to, marital status, children, business ownership, and health to your or any named fiduciary warrant an immediate consultation to discuss whether such change is necessary.
Who are the Important People to be Named in my Will?
Your Will will include beneficiaries and fiduciaries. Beneficiaries are the individuals or entities who will benefit or inherit under the terms of your Will. Fiduciaries are the individuals or entities that are tasked with duties under your will. Fiduciaries may include an Executor or Executrix, also called the Personal Representative, who is tasked with the administration of your estate, a Guardian who will be charged with the physical care of your minor children and Trustee who will must act in accordance with the instructions of any Trust created under the Will, often financial and administrative duties. The same or different persons or entities may be named in each role, and careful consideration should given to each assignment.
Hartmann Law is here to Help You
For more than 20 years, Angela Rich Hartmann has successfully guided her clients through personal legal matters, including the difficult and often emotional process of estate planning. Taking great pride in offering personalized service, Angela Hartmann dedicates her time to learn and understand each Client's needs, not only as it relates to the legal matter, but as it relates to them as a person. Perhaps even more so than other areas of law, understanding a Client's objectives, goals, and values are essential within within Estate Law. Properly planned, their Legacy is ensured. Making this connection, Angela Hartmann has been able to successfully develop long lasting professional relationships with many of her Clients. With gratitude, each new Client who has been referred by an existing or former Client, is seen as the highest compliment of her service, and a sign that personal attention is an unequaled service that remains sought in the automated, impersonal digital age. Contact Hartmann Law today.
Hartmann Law provides trusted counsel to individuals, families, businesses and corporations help navigate matters that require legal services including residential and commercial real estate, estate planning and business law.
Contact Hartmann Law for a Consultation Today!
Click Here to contact me for a consultation to determine what Estate Planning tools are best for you!