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The legal requirements of a will in New Jersey

| Apr 21, 2021 | Estate Planning

A will is an essential part of any estate plan, as it specifies how your property will be distributed after you pass away. Passing intestate, or without a valid will, can lead to many issues for the decedent’s surviving family members.

Laws pursuant to will writing will vary from state to state, and a will must meet all necessary criteria to be considered legal. In New Jersey, a legal will:

  • Can be handwritten or typed but must be in writing.
  • Must be created by a legally competent adult.
  • Must be witnessed by two other people.

Handwritten vs. typed wills

As mentioned above, New Jersey wills can be handwritten or typed. However, there are different requirements for each. For instance, typed wills must have the signature of the will’s creator, as well as the signatures of the two witnesses. Handwritten wills do not need a signature, but a third party will have to confirm that the will was written in the creator’s handwriting.

Is notarization required?

In New Jersey, a will does not need to be notarized to be valid, but notarization automatically establishes the authenticity of the will. If the will has already been notarized, the probate process will be much faster.

No two wills are the same, but all legal wills in New Jersey must meet the above requirements. By ensuring that your will meets the necessary criteria, your family will have a much easier time managing your affairs when the time comes. An estate planning attorney can make sure you meet all requirements and include all necessary information in the will.