New Jersey Estate Planning Tips: Wills Versus Living Trusts

Wills and living trusts are some of the biggest buzzwords in estate planning today, but in order to see their benefits for your New Jersey estate plan, you need to understand what makes them different.  One of these documents may be more appropriate for you than another, so use this guide to help you determine the best next step for you.

A will is a written document that determines how your property will be distributed among your heirs or charity when you pass away.  You can revoke your will and amend it any time while you are still alive.  Within a will, you can also name a guardian to care for any minor children.  A will is frequently seen as the best option for individuals who have relatively basic needs in estate planning but don’t desire having additional controls in place for their heirs.

A living trusts gives you property management options both while you are alive and after death.  When serving as your own trustee, you’ll have to name another individual with trustee powers after you pass away.  When used properly, a New Jersey living trust can allow your property to be managed without some of the headaches associated with court supervision like expenses and inconvenience.  Many people also prefer a living trust because it’s more private than other instruments.  You can also avoid probate for your assets and set in place a plan for what happens to your property management if you become incapacitated.  A living trust can be the better choice if you have children with special needs or want special provisions outlining what happens to the property.

New Jersey estate planning doesn’t have to be complex; simply choose an experienced lawyer to help you achieve your goals.