Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New Jersey

Is it legal to state in a will that "Decedent had NO issue living when the Will was executed and no child was born or adopted thereafter." and to not list child as an heir if said person HAD an adopted child ??

Asked on 1/29/13, 1:39 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jonathan Chester Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C.

Whether it's "legal" or not isn't the issue...The better question is "why" would someone sign the will if he/she knows they have adopted a child?? Was this an intentional declaration? A mistake? Does it perhaps show the testator didn't understand what he/she was signing? Were they competent?

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Answered on 1/29/13, 2:17 pm

Michael Lindner Lindner Law LLC

There is no law against what you say in a will - for the most part, you can say whatever you want. However, what you say can be used to assess or contest the legitimacy of the will. Many times, if a person wanted to disinherit a child from a will, the lawyer drafting the will makes sure to list the name of the child - and that the person specifically does not want to leave anything to that child. It helps to assure that some child was not missing as an oversight, or a mistake.

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Answered on 1/30/13, 6:59 am

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