The person who creates a will, known as the “testator,” can outline exactly what they want to happen to their assets after they pass. A will can include any information someone wishes to pass on to loved ones about their property, but a few requirements apply to make the will legally enforceable. Below, we outline some of the most frequently asked questions about creating a will that is valid in The Garden State.
What makes a will valid in New Jersey?
A person must be at least 18 years old and mentally competent to create a valid will. Generally, this means they understand the purpose of the will and know what they wish to happen to their property. The testator, as well as two witnesses, must sign a typed will.
Can I hand-write my will?
Yes. Many states call handwritten wills “holographic wills.” New Jersey probate courts consider holographic wills valid if the material parts of the will are in the testator’s handwriting. Unlike typed wills, holographic wills do not require witnesses.
Is a video will valid?
A video will, on its own, is not valid in New Jersey. Video wills are a type of “nuncupative” or oral will, which is not recognized in most states including New Jersey. If someone wishes to make a video discussing their wishes or reading their will, they may do so, as long as a written copy of the will accompanies the video.
The cornerstone of any estate plan
Considering what will happen to your loved ones after you are gone is never an easy task. However, creating a will you can rely on to be effective often provides peace of mind. Ensure this cornerstone of your estate plan effectively communicates your wishes by consulting with an estate planning attorney.