Every state has a set of requirements for lasts wills and testaments. If your will fails to meet these requirements, the state may declare it invalid when its validity matters most. For this reason, it is important to, at the very least, consult with a professional who is familiar with these requirements and who can help you devise a document that fulfills them.
In the meantime, you may wish to draft something that clearly states your future wishes and protects your loved ones’ interests. FindLaw explains New Jersey’s three basic requirements for wills to help guide the process.
The most basic requirement for a last will and testament in New Jersey pertains to age. New Jersey, like most other states, requires testators to be at least 18 years of age.
For a will to be valid in New Jersey, you must type it up and sign it with at least two people present. Those two witnesses must also sign the will.
Every state, including New Jersey, requires testators to be legally competent to execute a will. What this means is that, at the time of creating and signing your will, you must have been of sound mind. You must also have understood the purpose and meaning of the document as well as the extent and nature of your property. If, at the time of executing your will, you experienced symptoms of dementia or some other mental disability, your loved ones may be able to contest your will on the grounds that you lacked legal competence. However, if you have a general idea of the extent of your property, and if you can briefly explain the purpose of a will at the time of signing, you satisfy the competency requirement.