Understanding Trusts in New Jersey

trusts in New JerseyWhen it comes to estate planning in New Jersey, trusts can be a powerful tool to ensure your wishes are met and your loved ones are taken care of. But with all the legal jargon surrounding trusts, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Following is a brief overview of what a trust is, some frequently asked questions about trusts, and a guide on when to seek professional legal advice.

What is a Trust? And Who Are The Trustees and Beneficiaries?

Basically, a trust is a legal setup where you hand over control of your stuff (like property, cash, or investments) to someone called a trustee.

The trustee is the person or entity in charge of looking after it for others you’ve chosen (the beneficiaries), following the rules you’ve laid out in a document. They’re like the responsible caretaker of the trust’s stuff. In New Jersey banks, trust companies, and certain financial institutions can be authorized to provide trust services.

The beneficiaries will receive the benefits outlined in the trust document, such as financial support or the use of property, according to the terms you’ve specified. They could be family members, friends, charities, or even organizations.

Types of Trusts in New Jersey

There are two main types of trusts commonly used in New Jersey:

  • Revocable Living Trust: This type of trust allows you to retain control over the assets during your lifetime. You can make changes to the trust or even revoke it entirely. Revocable living trusts are often used to avoid probate, a lengthy and public court process for distributing assets after death.
  • Irrevocable Trust: Once established, you cannot typically make changes to an irrevocable trust. These trusts offer some asset protection benefits and may have tax advantages. There are various subcategories of irrevocable trusts, each with its own specific purpose.

Benefits of Using a Trust in New Jersey

  • Avoid probate: Revocable living trusts bypass probate, saving your beneficiaries time and money.
  • Manage assets for beneficiaries: Trusts allow you to dictate how and when your assets are distributed to beneficiaries. This can be particularly useful for minor children or beneficiaries who may not be financially responsible.
  • Asset protection: Irrevocable trusts can shield assets from creditors and potentially reduce estate taxes.
  • Maintain privacy: Trusts are typically private documents, unlike wills which become public during probate.

When to Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney About a Trust

While trusts offer numerous benefits, they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Consider consulting with an experienced New Jersey estate planning attorney like Andrew Krantz of Zager Fuchs in the following situations:

  • You have a complex estate with significant assets.
  • You have minor children or beneficiaries who may need financial guidance.
  • You want to minimize estate taxes.
  • You have concerns about protecting assets from creditors.
  • You have specific wishes regarding the distribution of your assets.

Andrew Krantz, a trusted advisor at Zager Fuchs, can guide you through the intricacies of trusts in New Jersey. He can help you determine the best type of trust for your situation, draft the trust document, and ensure it complies with all state laws.

FAQs about Trusts in New Jersey

Can I create a trust myself?

While it’s possible to find online trust templates, it’s highly recommended to work with an attorney. An attorney can ensure the trust is legally sound, meets your specific needs, and complies with New Jersey law.

What assets can I put in a trust?

A variety of assets can be placed in a trust, including real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and even business interests.

How much does it cost to create a trust?

The cost of creating a trust depends on the complexity of your situation and the attorney’s fees.

In conclusion, trusts offer New Jersey residents a way to manage their estates and ensure their wishes are carried out. By understanding the different types of trusts and their benefits, you can make informed decisions about your legacy.

For more information about trusts consult with a qualified New Jersey estate planning attorney like Andrew Krantz of Zager Fuchs.