New Jersey's Requirements for a Will
New Jersey's Requirements for a Will
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New Jersey's Requirements for a Will

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Summary of New Jersey's Will Requirements:

Minimum Age to Make a Will 18
Written Document Required Yes
Nuncupative Wills (Oral) No
Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed) Yes
Number of Witnesses Required 2
Self-Proving Affidavit Allowed
Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit Yes

 

 

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Statutes Governing New Jersey's Will Requirements:

 

Individuals competent to make a will and appoint a testamentary guardian

Any individual 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will and may appoint a testamentary guardian.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-1

 

Execution; witnessed wills; writings intended as wills

Except as provided in subsection b. and in N.J.S.3B:3-3, a will shall be:

(1) in writing;

(2) signed by the testator or in the testator's name by some other individual in the testator's conscious presence and at the testator's direction; and

(3) signed by at least two individuals, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after each witnessed either the signing of the will as described in paragraph (2) or the testator's acknowledgment of that signature or acknowledgment of the will.

b. A will that does not comply with subsection a. is valid as a writing intended as a will, whether or not witnessed, if the signature and material portions of the document are in the testator's handwriting.

c. Intent that the document constitutes the testator's will can be established by extrinsic evidence, including for writings intended as wills, portions of the document that are not in the testator's handwriting.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-2

 

Creation, maintenance of will registry; fees

a. The Secretary of State shall create and maintain a will registry in which a testator or his attorney may register information regarding the testator's will.  The information contained in such registry shall include the name of the person making the will, the date the will was made, and sufficient identification of the location of the will at the time of registration.  The registry shall not contain a copy of the will.

b. The fee for registration of a will shall be $10.00, which shall be deposited by the Secretary of State in the General Fund.

c. The existence or nonexistence of a registration for a particular will shall not be considered as evidence in any proceeding relating to such will, and the failure to file information about a will in the will registry shall not be a factor in determining the validity of the will.

d. The fee for application to the Secretary of State to conduct a search of the registry shall be $10.00, which shall be deposited by the Secretary of State in the General Fund.  Only interested persons and their representatives may conduct a search of the registry.  As used in this act, "interested persons" means children, spouses, potential heirs, devisees, fiduciaries, creditors, beneficiaries and any others having a property right in or claim against a trust estate or the estate of a decedent which may be affected by the proceeding.

e. The Secretary of State shall not be liable for the accuracy of the representation of the person conducting a search of the registry or for the accuracy of the information contained in the registry.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-2.1

 

Writings intended as wills

Although a document or writing added upon a document was not executed in compliance with N.J.S.3B:3-2, the document or writing is treated as if it had been executed in compliance with N.J.S.3B:3-2 if the proponent of the document or writing establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the decedent intended the document or writing to constitute: (1) the decedent's will; (2) a partial or complete revocation of the will; (3) an addition to or an alteration of the will; or (4) a partial or complete revival of his formerly revoked will or of a formerly revoked portion of the will.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-3

 

Making will self-proved at time of execution

Any will executed on or after September 1, 1978 may be simultaneously executed, attested, and made self-proved, by acknowledgment thereof by the testator and affidavits of the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized pursuant to R.S.46:14-6.1 to take acknowledgments and proofs of instruments entitled to be recorded under the laws of this State, in substantially the following form:

I, ..............., the testator, sign my name to this instrument this ......... day of ............, 20....., and being duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that I sign and execute this instrument as my last will and that I sign it willingly (or willingly direct another to sign for me), that I execute it as my free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed, and that I am 18 years of age or older, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.

.......................................................
Testator


We,............., the witnesses, sign our names to this instrument, and, being duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that the testator signs and executes this instrument as the testator's last will and that the testator signs it willingly (or willingly directs another to sign for him), and that each of us, in the presence and hearing of the testator, hereby signs this will as witness to the testator's signing, and that to the best of our knowledge the testator is 18 years of age or older, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.

.......................................................
Witness

.......................................................
Witness

 

 

The State of .................................. }

County of ...................................... }

 

 

Subscribed, sworn to and acknowledged before me by ................, the testator and subscribed and sworn to before me by ................. and ..................., witnesses, this .................. day of ......................, 20 ..... .

(Signed)........................................

......................................................
(Official capacity of officer)

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-4

 

Making will self-proved subsequent to time of execution

A will executed in compliance with N.J.S.3B:3-2 may at any time subsequent to its execution be made self-proved by the acknowledgment thereof by the testator and the affidavits of the witnesses, each made before an officer authorized pursuant to R.S.46:14-6.1 to take acknowledgments and proofs of instruments entitled to be recorded under the laws of this State, attached or annexed to the will in substantially the following form:

 

The State of ................................. }

County of .................................... }

 

_______________________ and _______________________, the testator and the witnesses, respectively, whose names are signed to the attached or foregoing instrument, being duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that the testator signed and executed the instrument as his last will and that the testator had signed willingly (or willingly directed another to sign for the testator), and that he executed it as the testator's free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed, and that each of the witnesses, in the presence and hearing of the testator, signed the will as witness and that to the best of his knowledge the testator was at that time 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

 

_____________________________
Testator

_____________________________
Witness

_____________________________
Witness

 

Subscribed, sworn to and acknowledged before me by _____________________, the testator, and subscribed and sworn to before me by _____________________ and  ______________________, witnesses, this __________ day of _______________, _______.


_____________________________
(Signed)
(Official capacity of officer)

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-5

 

Validating acknowledgement

An acknowledgment to make a will self-proved taken on or after September 1,  1978, but before October 11, 1979, pursuant to R.S. 46:14-6, R.S. 46:14-7 or  R.S. 46:14-8 to make a will self-proved under N.J.S. 3B:3-4 or N.J.S. 3B:3-5 is  a valid acknowledgment, notwithstanding that the certificate of acknowledgment  does not have the officer's official seal affixed thereto.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-6

 

Who may witness a will

Any individual generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will and to testify concerning execution thereof.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-7

 

Will not validated if signed by interested party

A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by  an interested witness.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-8

 

Laws determining valid execution of will

A written will is validly executed if executed in compliance with N.J.S. 3B:3-2 or N.J.S. 3B:3-3 or its execution was in compliance with the law of the place where it was executed, or with the law of the place where at the time of execution or at the time of death the testator was domiciled, had a place of abode or was a national.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-9

 

Incorporation by reference

Any writing in existence when a will is executed may be incorporated by reference if the language of the will manifests this intent and describes the writing sufficiently to permit its identification.

New Jersey Statutes, Sec. 3B:3-10

 

[Reference - New Jersey Requirements to Make a Will]

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