Living Trusts in New Jersey

Author: Wolfe Ossa LawCategories: Elder Law

Living Trust Estate Planning

One of the first questions I’m asked as an Estate Planning attorney is, “What about a living trust?” A living trust has it’s place in the estate planning world, but it’s probably not what you think.

Let’s start with the basics, what is a living trust? A living trust is document that can be changed or altered at any time. Many people believe that you need a living trust to avoid probate. And while that may be true in some states, New Jersey is NOT one of them. Probate in NJ is a very simple process, paying thousands of dollars to avoid it, is a scam.

You may want a trust for other reasons. Such as, control. A trust is essentially a set of instructions. So if you want to be able to control what happens with your money from beyond the grave, a trust might make a lot of sense for you. The beneficiaries of the trust do not have control over how the assets are used. A trustee is chosen by you to oversee the trust and control it’s assets. And the rules for how the money is used, are set by you and must be followed.

If someone in your life has substance abuse issues, a trust is a great way to make sure that you can provide for them, without them having direct access to the money. Their medical expenses, rent, groceries, and other bills can be paid from the Trust without them ever having direct access. Someone you trust can be appointed as the Trustee to make sure those bills are paid.

If you want to save money for a beneficiary’s college fund, or other future expense, a trust is a great way to ensure that money is saved, maybe invested, and protected for your young beneficiary.

So you may want a living trust to exercise control that you simply don’t have with a Will. Discuss it more with one of our qualified Estate Planning attorneys.

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