The benefits of a joint will in New Jersey

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The Benefits Of A Joint Will In New Jersey

You have worked hard and you have done well. Your life includes a satisfying career and a family. You have been fortunate enough to accumulate some significant, valuable assets that you intend to give to your spouse and others of your choosing eventually.

Before others inherit your assets, you may wish to pass those assets to your spouse. If that is the case, you might consider a joint will with your spouse . So, what the pros and cons are of a joint will?

The pros and cons of a joint will in New Jersey

There are benefits as long as both people don’t change their minds about what is in the will. Both people must sign the will, which is most effective if everything is simple. A complication may be if the people are young and there is a chance that one of them (or both) will remarry at the time when the will is created.

The following are some of the pros of a joint will:

  • For older people: If the people are older and never had children. A joint will is a way to ensure that the conditions in the will can remain intact, even if the surviving spouse remarries and has children with the second spouse. The joint will dictates that the assets automatically go to the surviving spouse. It is also a way to prevent anyone else from getting their hands on those assets.
  • The surviving spouse is protected against fraud: If the second spouse becomes incapacitated, the joint will protects them from fraud at the hands of people who are working against them.
  • The assets are protected: Because the will is final, nobody can touch the assets. The surviving spouse can use some of the assets to cover healthcare costs or other things if they become sick or incapacitated.
  • Leaving money to children, charity or a friend: Even if you wish to leave money to children or other individuals, you can with a joint will. Of course, both spouses must agree before they sign, which will mean that the two people have a legal responsibility to honor those terms.

Solid advice from a New Jersey estate planning attorney

The advice of an experienced estate planning attorney may be invaluable. You should plan everything carefully so your wishes are executed. The attorney can help you to make it happen so your legacy is safe.


Michael Ritigstein is a Founding Partner of the firm concentrating his efforts in supporting the firm's litigation, corporate and estate matters. Mr. Ritigstein graduated from the University of Delaware in 1996 and Seton Hall University School of Law in 2000. In 2007 he received a Masters of Law in Taxation with a concentration in Estate Planning, from Temple University's Beasley School of Law.

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