THE FOLLOWING IS A SAMPLE OF A VARIETY OF CLAUSES AND ITEMS WHICH YOUR ATTORNEY MAY INCLUDE IN A WILL: 1ST: DEBTS AND TAXES 2ND: SPECIFIC BEQUESTS 3RD: DISPOSITION TO SPOUSE 4TH: DISPOSITION OF REMAINDER OF ESTATE 5TH: CREATION OF TRUSTS FOR SPOUSE 6TH: CREATION OF TRUST FOR CHILDREN 7TH: OTHER BENEFICIARIES UNDER 21 8TH: EXECUTORS 9TH: TRUSTEES 10TH: GUARDIANS 11TH: SURETY OR BOND 12TH: POWERS 13TH: AFTERBORN CHILDREN 14TH: PRINCIPAL AND INCOME 15TH: NO ASSIGNMENT OF BEQUESTS 16TH: GENDER 17TH: CONSTRUCTION OF WILL 18TH: NO CONTEST CLAUSE A Will must not only be prepared within the legal requirements of the New Jersey Statutes but should also be prepared so it leaves no questions regarding your intentions.
WHY PERIODIC REVIEW IS ESSENTIAL Even if you have an existing Will, there are many events that occur which may necessitate changes in your Will. Some of these are: * Marriage, death, birth, divorce or separation affecting either you or anyone named in your Will *Significant changes in the value of your total assets or in any particular assets, which you own * A change in your domicile * Death or incapacity of a beneficiary, or death, incapacity or change in residence of a named executor, trustee or guardian of infants, or of one of the witnesses to the execution of the Will *Annual changes in tax laws
MAY I CHANGE MY WILL? Yes. A Will may be modified, added to, or entirely changed at any time before your death provided you are mentally and physically competent and desire to change your Will. You should consider revising your Will whenever there are changes in the size of your estate. For example, when your children are young, you may think it best to have a trust for them so they do not come into absolute ownership of property until they are mature. Beware, if you draw lines through items, erase or write over, or add notations to the original Will, it can be destroyed as a legal document. Either a new Will should be legally prepared or a Codicil signed to legally change portions of the Will.
Save money with proper planning Your estate will be subject to probate whether or not you have a Will and in most cases, a Will reduces the cost by eliminating the requirements of a bond. With a well-drawn Will, you may also reduce death taxes and other expenses. Don’t pinch pennies now to the detriment of your beneficiaries. The proper preparation of a Will should involve an analysis of the client’s assets, family and his/her desires. Estate Planning is the process of examining what will happen to your property when you die and arranging for its distribution in such a manner as will accomplish your objectives. The cost of a Will depends on the size and the complexity of the estate and the plans of the person who makes the Will. A properly drawn Simple Will without Trust costs approximately $200.00 to $600.00. It is one of the most important documents you will ever sign, and may be one of the best bargains you will ever have. Be sure your Will takes into account the Federal Tax changes and New Jersey Inheritance Tax changes. Also, ascertain if your Will is “self-proving”, which would dispense with having to find the Will’s witnesses after death.
WHAT IS A WILL? “A Will is a Legal written document which, after your death, directs how your individually owned property will be distributed, who will be in charge of your property until it is distributed and who will take care of your minor children if the other parent should die ". You should remember that the term “property” under the law includes "real estate as well as other possessions and rights to receive money or items of value.” Everyone who has at least $3,000 in assets should have a Will. You do not have to be wealthy, married, or near death to do some serious thinking about your Will.
Reducing the NJ Estate Tax on estates over $675,000. A New Jersey estate tax return must be filed if the decedent's gross estate plus adjusted taxable gifts exceeds $675,000. Even if there is no NJ Inheritance Tax there can be a NJ Estate Tax if the estate exceeds $675,000 and the beneficiaries are children or grand children. There is a substantial tax that must be paid after the 2nd spouse dies on amounts over $675,000. You can hire an attorney to set up Trusts or a Will with a Credit Shelter Trust to try to reduce NJ Estate taxes due. We charge a minimum fee of $400 for each Trust within a Will. A separate stand alone Trust has a minimum fee for $2,500. http://www.njlaws.com/wills.htm