Knowledgeable Hamilton Attorney Helps Clients with Will Preparation

Reliable law firm drafts legally enforceable documents

A properly executed will is a critical part of estate planning. It allows you control over who inherits your property after you die and indicates your wishes in other areas. At The Law Offices of Nicole Bernard-Povio, LLC in Hamilton, I help clients throughout central New Jersey draft wills that leave them feeling confident their final wishes will be carried out.

What is required to make a will enforceable?

A will should be able to stand up to legal challenges, and while it may seem like something you can do on your own, working with an attorney can help ensure that it does just that. In New Jersey, the following is required to make a valid will:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must be of sound mind, meaning you are mentally competent
  • Your will must be in writing, either typed or handwritten
  • You must sign your will
  • Your will must be signed or acknowledged in front of two disinterested witnesses, meaning they aren’t relatives and will not be inheriting anything from the estate

When you trust my law firm with preparing your will, I will ensure that it is legally valid.

What is included in a will?

Your will documents who you wish to receive your assets and property upon your death. You can name a personal representative in your will to oversee the distribution of your estate. You can also appoint a funeral agent to make decisions regarding disposition of your remains. If you have minor children, you can nominate a person to be appointed as guardian to your children, though it will have to be officially approved by a judge.

Making changes to your will

When your circumstances change, you may need to change your will. There are two general ways to do so. You can draft a completely new will that revokes the old one. Once your new will is valid, destroy any copies you have of the old will. If your changes are very minor, it may make more sense to add a codicil to your existing will instead of revoking it entirely. Codicils are typically used to amend a specific part of a will, such as changing your personal representative. My estate planning law firm can assist you with your will change.

What happens if you don’t have a will when you die?

If you die without a will, your property will pass through intestate succession, which means your property will be distributed to your survivors in a specific order that doesn’t consider your personal preferences. If you have a child but no spouse, for example, your child will inherit your assets. If you are married without children or parents, your spouse will get everything. Only assets that would go through probate pass through intestate succession. Property with named beneficiaries such as trusts, 401ks and other assets will pass to the named beneficiaries even in the absence of a will. I can help you legally document your wishes so that the state is not left to make decisions for you.

Contact an effective New Jersey estate planning firm for help with your will

At The Law Offices of Nicole Bernard-Povio, LLC in Hamilton, I draft wills for New Jersey residents that effectively document their wishes for the future and that stand up to potential legal challenges. Call me at [ln::phone] or contact me online to schedule a consultation.