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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
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What are the essentials for planning a will in New Jersey?

In most cases, estate planning by way of wills is essentially the same from state-to-state, with only minor differences here and there. For instance, oral wills are not valid in the state of New Jersey as they are in some other states. Another way New Jersey law differs a bit is by allowing a handwritten will as long as the person making the will, also known as the testator, writes the document.

As far as the essentials necessary to create a legal will, it is the same in New Jersey as it is in most other states. The following describes the basic elements needed to make a will for estate planning or asset distribution.

-- Age: The testator must be a minimum of 18 years old at the time the will was executed.-- Witnessed: When it's time for the testator to sign the will, no less than two witnesses must observe as he or she signs. The witnesses must also sign the document verifying the testator's signature.-- Competency: We always hear that a person creating a will must be of sound mind and body, but this is only partially true. While a person must be mentally competent enough to make a will, it doesn't matter at all if they suffer from a physical condition when the will is executed.

The website for the American Bar Association has a number of resources published online to help people develop a plan for their assets. One of the Association's Internet resources offers a list of the seven essentials for a will that touch deeper on topics like handwritten wills, formal wills and competency.

Dying without a will in New Jersey can mean you don't get a say in how your assets are distributed, but it's easier than you might think to execute this kind of estate planning. With guidance from legal professionals, you can create a will that gives you and your family peace of mind.

Source: FindLaw, "New Jersey Wills Laws" Sep. 02, 2014

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