Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New Jersey

Is a codicil legal in new jersey without going to a lawyer ?

Asked on 4/28/13, 4:50 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Glenn Brown Real World Law, P.C.

It is the lawyer making sure that it is legal that makes it worth going to a lawyer.

If you mess up a codicil to a will and you die what you want to happen may not happen!

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Answered on 4/28/13, 5:05 pm

Robert Gleaner Robert A. Gleaner, P.C.

As long as the codicil is drafted and signed with all of the requirements of the applicable statute, it will be valid. If it does not comply with all of the requirements, it may not be valid. Keep in mind that this advice is based purely on the little bit of information that you have given to me. There certainly may be other factors that would change my opinion. Further, no one can rely on advice from an attorney who has not been retained. Since it appears that you have not retained an attorney, you may want to contact an attorney to discuss your matter in more detail. Only then will you be able to rely on the advice. Good luck! Rob Gleaner

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Answered on 4/28/13, 5:26 pm
Michael Lindner Lindner Law LLC

yes, for the most part, whether someone uses a lawyer or not, does not affect the legality and enforcement of any document, whrether that is a will, a codicil, a lease, a contract, etc. That said, doing something yourself with no legal training, and simply relying upon some form obtained from a quick internet search, places you at some risk. If the assets that you are trying to protect are significant - don't try to save a few hundred dollars - spend the money, do it right, then relax, knowing it was handled properly.

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Answered on 4/29/13, 5:43 am
Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.

I agree - if all the legal requirements are met when executed (signed) a lawyer is not necessary. Preprinted forms do not necessarily meet all requirements, as many are generic forms that are not State specific. If all requirements are not met, the document may be rejected for probate. Better to be safe (use a lawyer familiar with the forms) than sorry. Look at the cost as insurance your wishes will be carried out.

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Answered on 4/29/13, 10:36 am

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