If you die without a will, New Jersey state law decides how your assets, cash and property get distributed. If this is acceptable to you, then there is little need to give your legacy much more thought. If, however, you would rather be in control of your wealth distribution, then formulating a solid estate plan – including crafting a will and appropriate trusts – is a wise use of time.
Our practice page lists several reasons why taking advantage of available trusts can provide the means to achieve a variety of financial goals. As a powerful legal tool, a trust allows you to safeguard assets for family members or many other purposes. It can minimize estate taxes and offer other benefits and protections to you and yours.
A trust is a fiduciary arrangement wherein a third party, known as a trustee, holds assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. It can be specific as to when and how these assets are released to a beneficiary, and because they usually are not part of probate, access to the property or cash is usually faster than if they were part of a will.
We believe that the control a person has through a well-crafted trust is a valuable benefit as well. Not only do trusts allow for distribution when, how and to whom, some trusts can provide accessibility to your wealth during your lifetime. They provide options for complex family situations. In some instances, beneficiaries aren't as well-suited to money management as the wealth-builder was. Trusts can help add a layer of security to the future and peace of mind the legacy will be preserved.
For some people, the privacy trusts afford is a plus. Will probate is public. Passing assets through trusts allows asset information to remain out of the public eye. Court fees and taxes are reduced as well.