New Jersey Will Code

The legislation relating to making of Wills is contained in the New Jersey Will Code. Here are the select provision of title 3B:
3B:3-1 Individuals competent to make a will and appoint a testamentary guardian. 3B:3-1. Any individual 18 or more years of age who is of sound mind may make a will and may appoint a testamentary guardian. L.1981, c.405, s.3B:3-1, eff. May 1, 1982; amended 2004, c.132, s.8. 3B:3-2 Execution; witnessed wills; writings intended as wills. a. 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. 3B:3-3 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. 3B:3-7 Who may witness a will. 3B:3-7. Any individual generally competent to be a witness may act as a witness to a will and to testify concerning execution thereof. 3B:3-8. Will not invalidated if signed by interested witness A will or any provision thereof is not invalid because the will is signed by an interested witness. 3B:3-9. 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. 3B:3-10. 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. 3B:3-11 Identifying devise of tangible personal property by separate writing. 3B:3-11. A will may refer to a written statement or list to dispose of items of tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of by the will, other than money. To be admissible under this section as evidence of the intended disposition, the writing must be either in the handwriting of the testator or be signed by the testator and must describe the items and the devisees with reasonable certainty. The writing may be referred to as one to be in existence at the time of the testator’s death; it may be prepared before or after the execution of the will; it may be altered by the testator after its preparation; and it may be a writing which has no significance apart from its effect upon the dispositions made by the will. 3B:3-12 Acts and events of independent significance. 3B:3-12. A will may dispose of property by reference to acts and events which have significance apart from their effect upon the dispositions made by the will, whether they occur before or after the execution of the will or before or after the testator’s death. The execution or revocation of a will of another individual is such an event.

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