March 1, 2001
Last Will and Testament
I, _________________________, a resident of _____________ County, State of New Jersey, declare that this is my Last Will and Testament and that it revokes all my prior Wills and Codicils.
ARTICLE I. — FAMILY
A. Full Name. My full name is _________________________.
B. Marital Status. I am married to ________________________, and all references in this Will to “my Husband” are to him.
C. Children. I am the parent of four children whose names are __________________, __________________, __________________, and __________________. References in this Will to “my children” are to them only. I deliberately have made no provision for any additional children. I have had no children who are now deceased.
D. Descendants. The present New Jersey law of intestate succession shall determine who my descendants are and what their proportionate shares are of any gift provided in this Will for “my descendants”. The word “descendants” shall be considered to have the same meaning as the word “issue” under that law.
ARTICLE II. — APPOINTMENTS
A. Nomination of Executors. I nominate my Husband as the executor of my estate, and I nominate my son, __________________, as successor executor, to serve in the event that my Husband is not appointed for any reason or ceases to serve before my estate has been fully administered. If my said son is also not appointed or ceases to serve, then I nominate my daughter, __________________, to serve as the successor executor of my estate. If my said daughter is also not appointed or ceases to serve, then I nominate my daughter, __________________, to serve as the successor executor of my estate. If my said daughter is also not appointed or ceases to serve, then I nominate my son, __________________, to serve as the successor executor of my estate.
B. Definition of “Executors”. For purposes of this Will, the plural term “executors” shall refer to all persons who may serve as executor, executrix, co-executor, or co-executrix of my estate, and I recognize that more than one executor or executrix may serve during the course of the administration of my estate, either concurrently or successively. My use of the plural form does not mean that I intend a person who serves alone as the executor of my estate to have less than all of the authority and powers conferred by this Will on “executors”.
C. Nomination of Trustees. I nominate my son, _______________, as the trustee of any and all trusts created or established pursuant to the terms and provisions of Article VI of this Will, and I appoint my daughter, _______________, as successor trustee, to serve in the event that my said son is not appointed or ceases to serve as trustee of any such trust. If my said daughter is also not appointed or ceases to serve, then I nominate my daughter, __________________, to serve as the successor trustee of any such trust. If my said daughter is also not appointed or ceases to serve, then I nominate my son, __________________, to serve as the successor trustee of any such trust.
D. Definition of “Trustees”. I have used the plural form “trustees” throughout this Will because I recognize that more than one trustee may serve during the course of the administration of a trust, either concurrently or successively. My use of the plural form does not mean that I intend a person who serves alone as the trustee to have less than all of the authority and powers conferred by this Will on “trustees”.
ARTICLE III. — DEBTS, EXPENSES, AND TAXES
A. Payment of Debts and Expenses. My executors shall pay my debts, funeral expenses, expenses of my last illness, and the expenses of administering my estate, as soon as the convenient administration of my estate permits. My executors shall not, however, pay any debt or expense that they reasonably determine to be unenforceable for any reason. Expenses of delivering tangible personal property to beneficiaries may, in the discretion of my executors, be paid as an expense of administering my estate.
B. Death Taxes. It is my intention that any estate, transfer, or inheritance taxes payable with respect to my death shall be apportioned as provided by applicable law, with respect to both assets passing under this Will and assets passing independently of this Will.
ARTICLE IV. — TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY
A. Definition. “Tangible personal property” includes, but is not limited to, furniture, furnishings, rugs, pictures, books, silver, plate, linen, china, glassware, objects of art, wearing apparel, jewelry, boats and automobiles, together with all insurance policies on such property and any claims on such policies pending at my death. The phrase does not include cash or other items of intangible property even though evidenced by tangible documentation; also excluded are any items being used in a trade, business, or profession at the time of my death.
B. Directions For Distribution. If my Husband survives me, I give my tangible personal property to him. If he does not survive me, then I give my tangible personal property to my children who survive me, in shares of substantially equal value. If neither my Husband nor any of my children survives me, then my tangible personal property shall be disposed of as part of the residue of my estate.
C. Establishing Shares For Children. I anticipate that my children will agreeably divide among themselves the tangible personal property to which they are entitled under this Article. If, however, they have not fully agreed on the division within one-hundred-eighty (180) days after my death, or if within that time they have agreed on the division of less than all of the tangible personal property distributable to them, my executors shall establish the shares, and their determinations shall be binding on all persons interested in my estate; as part of the process of establishing the shares, my executors may sell items of tangible personal property or, in the case of property that appears not to have any realizable value, they may give such property to charity. I authorize my executors to use any cash sales proceeds to equalize the shares for my children, if that is necessary; if not, any such cash sales proceeds shall be distributed as part of the residue of my estate.
D. Use of Separate Written Statement. The foregoing paragraph(s) notwithstanding, I may prepare a separate written statement or list to dispose of certain items of my tangible personal property. I will either prepare this statement or list in my handwriting, or I will sign a typed statement or list. If I have prepared such a statement or list, it will be found with the original or with a copy of my Will. If the statement or list complies with the requirements of applicable law that authorizes the use of such a statement or list, my executors shall carry out the directions in the statement or list and make the distributions of my tangible personal property provided for in said statement or list, and the directions in the preceding paragraph(s) shall apply only to tangible personal property that is not effectively given away through the use of the statement or list.
E. Meaning of “Survive”. For purposes of this Article, no beneficiary shall be considered to have survived me who does not survive me by one-hundred-eighty (180) days.
ARTICLE V. — RESIDUE OF ESTATE
A. Definition. The “residue of my estate” means all money and property of whatever description that I own at the time of my death, whether it consists of real, personal, or mixed property, including any property of any sort in which I shall have any legal or beneficial interest at the time of my death, and regardless of where such property may be located, except that which is distributable pursuant to the preceding Articles of this Will or that which effectively passes through right of survivorship or other means independently of this Will. Gifts of “the residue of my estate” refer to that part of the residue of my estate that remains after debts, expenses, and other proper charges have been paid or provided for. If at the time of my death I shall have any power of appointment over any property, then I hereby exercise such power and direct that such property be disposed of in the same manner as the residue of my estate.
B. Gift of Residue. I give, devise, and bequeath the residue of my estate to my Husband, if he survives me. If he does not survive me, then I give, devise, and bequeath the residue of my estate to my descendants, on a per stirpes basis.
C. Minor or Incompetent Beneficiaries. If, under the preceding paragraph or any other provisions of this Will, assets are distributable to a beneficiary of mine who is under twenty-one (21) years of age, or to a beneficiary of mine who is incompetent, my executors may use the beneficiary’s share of the distributable assets, or any part of that share, to establish a separate trust for the beneficiary on terms set forth in the next paragraph. In addition, in the case of a minor beneficiary, my executors may use all or part of the assets representing the beneficiary’s share to purchase an annuity for the beneficiary or establish a custodianship account for the beneficiary under state laws providing for gifts or transfers to minors. In the case of minor and/or incompetent beneficiaries, my executors also may distribute such assets to a parent or other relative who has the care and custody of the beneficiary. My executors may exercise these rights even though a conservator or guardian may have been appointed for the beneficiary and even though the beneficiary is not a minor under state law. In any case, my executors shall not be liable for the acts of any third person to whom assets are delivered through the exercise of one or more of the powers provided for in this paragraph.
D. Trust(s) for Minor or Incompetent Beneficiaries. If, pursuant to the terms of the foregoing paragraph, my executors elect to hold all or part of a minor or incompetent beneficiary’s share of the residue of my estate in a trust, they may serve as the trustees of the trust or they may appoint any other responsible person or a bank with a full-service trust department, to serve as the trustee(s). The trust shall be vested in the beneficiary from its inception and until it terminates. It shall terminate when a minor beneficiary reaches twenty-one (21) years of age or sooner dies, or when an incompetent beneficiary’s disability terminates or when said incompetent beneficiary sooner dies. During the term of the trust, the trustees shall hold, manage, invest, and reinvest the principal of said trust and collect and receive the income thereof, and they shall pay to or for the benefit of the person for whom the trust was established so much, or all, or none of the net income and/or principal of the trust fund set aside for such person as my trustees, in their absolute and uncontrolled judgment and discretion, shall consider necessary or advisable or proper for the support, care, health, comfort, welfare, maintenance, and/or education of such person. Any income that is not so distributed shall be accumulated and added to the principal of the trust fund and held, administered, and distributed as part thereof. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal and any undistributed income shall be distributed outright to the beneficiary or, if the trust terminates because of his or her death, to the personal representative of the beneficiary’s estate.
E. Contingent Gift. If the residue of my estate cannot be distributed according to the foregoing provisions, because none of the beneficiaries survives me, then I give, devise, and bequeath the residue of my estate to my heirs who survive me. My heirs and their proportionate shares shall be determined under the intestate succession laws of the state in which I am domiciled at the time of my death.
F. Survivorship Requirement. Except for my Husband, a beneficiary of the residue of my estate who does not survive me by one-hundred-eighty (180) days shall, for purposes of this Article, be considered not to have survived me. My Husband shall be considered to have survived me for purposes of this Article if he survives me by any period of time, even though less than the statutory survivorship period that might otherwise be applicable.
ARTICLE VI. — SPOUSE’s RIGHT TO DISCLAIM –
EXEMPTION SHELTER TRUST
A. Husband’s Disclaimer and Creation of Exemption Shelter Trust. If my Husband survives me, but disclaims his interest in all or any part of the property that otherwise would have passed to him under any of the foregoing provisions of this Will, such disclaimed property shall pass to my trustees, in trust, and my trustees shall hold said property in a separate trust, pursuant to the federal estate and gift tax credit and the state death tax credit provisions of Sections 2010 and 2011, respectively, of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and they shall manage, invest, and reinvest the principal thereof, collect and receive the income thereof, and my trustees shall pay or apply so much of the net income from this trust and so much of the principal of this trust to or on behalf of my Husband in such amounts and proportions as my trustees, in their absolute and uncontrolled judgment and discretion, shall deem necessary or advisable or proper for his health, support, maintenance, comfort, and welfare, giving due regard, however, to his needs and requirements. For this purpose, my trustees shall have no duty whatever to inquire into or to consider any other income or resources of my Husband; and the determination of my trustees as to the advisability of making any such discretionary payment(s) from income and/or principal shall be final and binding upon all persons then or thereafter interested in said trust. Any income not so paid or applied shall be accumulated and (at least annually) added to the principal, to be held, administered, and distributed as a part thereof.
B. Husband as Trustee of Exemption Shelter Trust. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, my Husband, if he is serving as a trustee of any trust created under this Article, shall appoint a co-trustee, and shall not participate in any decision relating to the payment of principal to him.
C. Disposition of Trust Balance Upon Husband’s Death. Upon my Husband’s death, my trustees shall pay and distribute the remaining balance of this trust, both principal and income, in accordance with the preceding Article of this Will as if I had died immediately following the death of my Husband.
D. Meaning of “Survive”. For purposes of this Article, if my Husband survives me by any period of time, he shall be deemed to have survived me.
ARTICLE VII. — ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS REGARDING FIDUCIARIES
A. Definition of “Fiduciaries”. This Article refers to “fiduciaries”, meaning my executors and trustees.
B. Bond. No fiduciary serving pursuant to the terms of this Will shall be required to give bond or other security in this or any other jurisdiction for the faithful performance of his or her duties.
C. Unsupervised Administration. If applicable law so provides, I request that my estate be administered without court supervision, unless my fiduciaries determine that supervised administration is necessary for the protection of my estate or of any person interested in my estate. Any trust for a minor beneficiary also shall be administered without court supervision, unless such supervision is invoked by any party in interest.
D. Powers and Responsibilities of Successors. Any person who serves as a fiduciary by succeeding a prior fiduciary shall have the same powers and title as the predecessor, but shall not be responsible for the acts or failures to act of any predecessor and shall not be required to audit the books and records of any predecessor.
E. Definition of Corporate Fiduciary and Trustee; Successors to Corporate Fiduciaries. For purposes of this Will a “corporate fiduciary” is a bank or brokerage firm with a full-service trust department. If a corporate fiduciary serves as a trustee under this Will, it is sometimes referred to herein as a “corporate trustee”. If a corporate fiduciary serves as a fiduciary under this Will, any corporate successor to that bank or brokerage firm shall have the right to continue serving, without having to be re-appointed.
ARTICLE VIII. — POWERS OF FIDUCIARIES AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
A. Powers of Fiduciaries. In addition to all powers now and hereafter conferred upon fiduciaries by applicable law, I authorize my fiduciaries to conduct any transaction with respect to the assets of my estate that they consider necessary or appropriate for the administration of my estate or of a trust for a minor beneficiary. These powers may be exercised without authorization by or permission from any court. As examples of the types of powers that I hereby grant to my fiduciaries, but without implying any limitation on the general grant of those powers, I state that my fiduciaries may: sell, exchange, lease, subdivide, partition, mortgage, or pledge property; execute and deliver deeds and other legal documents, including those with warranties; maintain, protect, improve, and alter property; acquire additional property by purchase or lease; exercise voting and other rights and privileges with respect to corporate securities; liquidate assets and settle claims; exercise available tax elections, without regard to the effect such elections may have on particular beneficiaries of my estate; continue the operation of any business in which I may be involved at the time of my death, including any agricultural business; exercise rights under statutory fiduciaries’ powers acts; retain or acquire assets, even though the retention or acquisition fails to achieve diversification; and hire accountants, attorneys, appraisers, property managers, investment advisors, sales agents, brokers, and other experts or specialists.
B. Authority of Executors or Any Other Person(s) to Disclaim.
1. I authorize my executors, in addition to any rights conferred on them by law and in their absolute and uncontrolled judgment and discretion, and without the consent of any court having jurisdiction over my estate, to disclaim or renounce, in whole or in part or with reference to specific amounts, parts, fractional shares, or assets, any devise, legacy, or interest in or privilege or power over any trust or other disposition provided for my benefit under the Will or other instrument of any person, such disclaimer or renunciations to be effected at any time within nine (9) months after the date of the transfer (whether by reason of such person’s death or otherwise) that created an interest in me.
2. I authorize any person, in addition to any rights conferred on him or her by law, at any time within nine (9) months after the date of my death, to disclaim or renounce, in whole or in part or with reference to specific amounts, parts, fractional shares, or assets, any devise, legacy, interest, right, privilege, or power granted to that person by this my Will. Any such disclaimer or renunciation shall be made by a duly acknowledged, written instrument executed by that person or by his or her conservator, guardian, committee, executor, or administrator, delivered to my executors and filed with the clerk of the appropriate court.
C. Distributions of Property In-Kind. There shall be no requirement that property be sold so that money, rather than the property itself, is distributed to the beneficiaries of my estate. Accordingly, I authorize my fiduciaries to distribute property in-kind to the beneficiaries. In addition, I authorize them to distribute either whole interests or undivided fractional interests of property, without the need of necessarily making pro-rata distributions of each particular item of property among a group of beneficiaries and without regard to the fact that the income tax bases of the property may be disproportionate to the value of those items at the time of distribution.
D. Rule Against Perpetuities. Anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding, any and all trusts created in or by this Will shall terminate no later than the latest date permitted by the Rule Against Perpetuities, and on such date, all corpus and accumulated income of any such trust or trusts shall immediately vest in and be distributed outright and free of trust to those beneficiaries then living who are designated as the income and corpus beneficiaries.
E. Jurisdiction. The laws of the state in which my estate is administered shall govern my Will and the construction of any of its terms, except in those instances where any question is raised concerning the validity of any provision of this Will; I direct that such question be determined by reference to the laws of the State of New Jersey.
F. Headings. No paragraph or Article heading in this Will shall be considered in any proceeding in which the meaning of substantive provisions of this Will is in issue.
G. Gender and Number References. Whenever the context of this Will so requires, the masculine gender includes the feminine or neuter, and vice versa, and the singular number includes the plural, and vice versa.
H. Partial Invalidity. If any provision of my Will is unenforceable or invalid for any reason, the remainder of my Will shall continue in effect.
ARTICLE IX. — SIMULTANEOUS DEATH OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
If my Husband and I shall die under such circumstances that there is reasonable doubt as to who died first, then I shall be conclusively deemed to have survived my Husband for the purposes of this Will.
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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I, __________________, the Testatrix, sign my name to this Instrument on this _____ day of ____________, 2001, and, being duly sworn, do hereby declare to the undersigned authority that I sign and execute this Instrument, consisting of nine (9) word-processed pages (including this page), as my Last Will and Testament, and that I sign and execute it willingly as my free and voluntary act for the purposes therein expressed, and that I am over the age of eighteen (18) years, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.
We, the undersigned Witnesses to this Will, sign our names to this Instrument, and, being duly sworn, do each hereby declare to the undersigned authority that the Testatrix signs and executes this Instrument as her Last Will and Testament and that she signs it willingly, and that each of us, in the presence and hearing of the Testatrix, hereby signs this Will as Witnesses to the signing thereof by the Testatrix, and that, to the best of our knowledge, the Testatrix is at the time of said signing over the age of eighteen (18) years, of sound mind, and under no constraint or undue influence.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY :
COUNTY OF _________ :
Subscribed, sworn to, and acknowledged before me, an Attorney at Law of the State of New Jersey, by _____________, the Testatrix, and by ______________________ and _____________________, the Witnesses, on this ____ day of _________, 2001.
An Attorney at Law of the
State of New Jersey