Your Will says who should get what of your personal belongings and financial assets – your “estate.”
If you are relatively young and have relatively few assets, then a Will may be enough to direct how you want your estate distributed. With specific provisions in a Will you can make sure your child (or children) does not get a large sum on his 18th birthday.
There has been a significant change in the law concerning estate taxes in NJ. It’s a good idea to check with your attorney if your Will and other estate planning is still appropriate for you and your family.
Now, the NJ estate tax only affects estates over $2 million in 2017. In 2018, there will be no estate tax. But it used to be anything over $675,000 was taxed. If you and your spouse exceeded this amount (house, retirement accounts, life insurance and other assets), you may have had a trust or trusts (“credit shelter” or “A/B”) as part of your plan to save estate taxes. You may no longer need those trusts. Plus, they might be more cumbersome than necessary for the surviving spouse and might even be detrimental (costly).
One further point is that a Will is public information.