New Jersey: Every Legal, Medical, and Estate Planning Document You Need

Here's a complete guide to every critical medical, legal, and estate planning document and relevant state law for New Jersey. Download these forms and get started with Pillar to organize all of your most important documents in one safe, secure, easy-to-use online storage solution

February 2, 2021

If you or a loved one lives in the Garden State, there are a lot of important medical forms, legal documents, and state laws governing how you disburse your assets in a will or trust. It’s a lot to keep track of.

To help you out, we’ve compiled this list of the most essential documents you need to prepare your estate for any medical, legal, and end-of-life decisions if you live in New Jersey. Start preparing you and your loved ones for the future with Pillar and keep every important document safe, organized, and ready to share when you need it.

Essential New Jersey Medical Laws & Forms

How to Get Your Medical Records in New Jersey

In New Jersey, medical records must be kept for a minimum of 7 years from the date of the most recent entry. For adult patients, it is mandated that the records be kept for 10 years following their discharge from hospital. For the case of minors, the records are held for 10 years or until the patient turns 23 years of age.

Learn more about your rights when it comes to your medical records

New Jersey Advance Directives for Healthcare

The use of advance directives and other healthcare proxy forms takes the burden away from a family doctor on matters of healthcare and gives the patient dignity and autonomy. Here’s how to prepare your medical wishes for whatever happens.

You have to be at least 18 years old to create any advance directive paperwork. It’s also essential that the document is prepared properly, dated and signed. It is also good to note that it can be changed at any time and does not become effective until the time when one can no longer make decisions or are terminally ill. Download these documents to get started: 

  • Durable Power of Attorney For Healthcare. This document appoints a person to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself
  • Living Will. This document states your medical wishes when it comes to treatment, procedures, and life-sustaining treatment in the event you are unable to make decisions

How to Become an Organ Donor in New Jersey

You can become an organ donor at Donate Life New Jersey or at the DMV.

Essential New Jersey Legal & Estate Planning Documents

How to Create a Will in New Jersey

The office of the secretary of state maintains a will registry where testators in New Jersey can deposit their wills. The fee to file a will registry and retrieval is $10. In New Jersey, you do not need to notarize your will to make it legal.

If you die without a will in New Jersey, your assets will go to closest relatives under the laws of Intestate Succession.

New Jersey Trust & Probate Laws

Read more for the legal provisions and legal framework governing trusts in New Jersey. Probate permits the transfer of assets in accordance to a will from the testator. A will cannot be probated until 10 days after the death of the testator, and the probate process can take a long time before assets are distributed to heirs — even with a legal will.

Probate in New Jersey takes at least 9 months.

Learn more about the biggest differences between a will and a trust

Does New Jersey Have Inheritance and Estate tax?

Inheritance tax applies to gifts at death or within 3 years of death to the beneficiaries. There is no exemption from the New Jersey inheritance tax based on the size of one’s estate. On the other hand, New Jersey does not have an estate tax. See the current Federal estate tax rates for 2021.

New Jersey Individual Income tax

Here are some helpful links for individual tax filing information in New Jersey:

How to Get a Birth Certificate in New Jersey

The office of Vital Statistics and Registry maintains birth records in New Jersey. The office charges $25 for the first copy of a vital record and $2 for each additional copy. You can request a birth record of a non-family member, but the office will only provide certification rather than a certified copy.

Download this form to request birth/death records in New Jersey. Check the online status of your vital records.

New Jersey Marriage Records

New Jersey vital records issues certified copies of marriage certificates. Not everyone can obtain copies except individuals listed on the certificate as spouse, adult, child, adult grandchild or adult sibling.

How to Organize Your Most Important Documents

Life can be complicated, no matter where you live. Create your customized account with Pillar and safely scan, store, and even share all of your most important medical, financial, and legal documents from one secure online cloud storage solution so you have everything you need for all of life's biggest moments.

Start your free 14-day trial and let Pillar help make the complicated stuff a little easier to manage.