Princeton Trusts Lawyer
Princeton Trusts Lawyer
When anyone begins to think about estate planning in New Jersey, they may be considering the possibility of establishing a trust in addition to any other legal tools or documents such as a will or advance directives. While there are many different types of trusts, and a trust may not be an option for everyone or a necessity for everyone engaged in estate planning, it is important to work with an experienced Princeton trusts lawyer who can assess your circumstances and help you to understand whether or not a trust could be beneficial to you. From elder law and asset protection to avoiding probate, trusts can serve multiple purposes. At Scott Counsel, P.C., we can provide you with more information about the kinds of trusts that are possible in New Jersey, and we can work with you to develop an estate plan that uses one or more trusts to your benefit.
Understanding How Trusts Work in Princeton, New Jersey
Wills and trusts are often discussed in conjunction with one another, but these are two different types of legal instruments. While both wills and trusts can be created during estate planning with help from an estate planning attorney, they work much differently from one another. With a will (also known as a last will and testament), the testator is providing information about how his or her assets will be distributed after death. That document then must get authenticated in the probate process, and an executor must take an accounting of the property and pay any remaining debts or taxes from the estate before distributing the property named in the will. With a will, the property stays in the possession of the testator until the testator’s death. While a trust can also name a beneficiary to receive the assets in the trust upon the trustor’s death, those assets are managed by a trustee and no longer belong to the trustor.
The person who makes a trust is called a trustor, or sometimes a grantor. While some types of trusts allow the trustor to change the terms or to close the trust during the trustor’s lifetime, many do not. Regardless of whether a trust is revocable or irrevocable, when the trustor establishes the trust, she or he puts assets into that trust and no longer owns them. Instead, the trust owns the assets, and a trustee (a third party who manages the assets) is responsible for that property. Depending upon the type of trust, upon the trustor’s death, the assets held in the trust can be distributed to one or more named beneficiaries under New Jersey law.
Princeton Types of Trusts
What kinds of trusts do people commonly create in Princeton, New Jersey? These are examples of common trusts that may be established in Princeton during the estate planning process:
- Revocable trust: A revocable trust is one that can be amended, revised, or revoked during the lifetime of the trustor or grantor. Accordingly, when a person makes a revocable trust, they are anticipating that, if necessary, they will be able to change the terms of the trust in their lifetime and before any assets in the trust are distributed to beneficiaries.
- Irrevocable trust: An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be amended, revised, or revoked during the lifetime of the trustor or grantor. As such, when a person establishes an irrevocable trust, they need to know that they are putting their assets into this trust and will not be able to change their mind later on. Once an irrevocable trust is created, the assets placed in the trust cannot be removed from the trust by the trustor, and the terms of the trust cannot be changed.
- Living trust: A living trust, or an inter vivos trust, is a type of trust that you create during your lifetime. Most trusts are living trusts, and these are the types of trusts that people in Princeton create most often in order to leave assets to beneficiaries while avoiding probate. When a person engages in estate planning in New Jersey and wants to avoid probate by establishing a trust, that person will most often create a revocable living trust, allowing them to change the terms of the trust or, if necessary, to revoke the trust.
- Spendthrift trust: A spendthrift trust is a type of trust established for a beneficiary who cannot be trusted to control the money himself or herself. These types of trusts restrict the way a beneficiary can access the money so it is not squandered.
- Special needs trust (SNT): Special needs trusts are established for disabled adults who still need to qualify for need-based benefit programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.
- Asset protection trust: An asset protection trust is a type of trust that you may consider when you are working with an estate planning lawyer on Medicaid planning. You may be able to put assets into a trust to be eligible for Medicaid coverage for long-term care without needing to spend down a lifetime of savings.
All trusts will be either revocable or irrevocable trusts. Then, the other types of trusts listed are specific types of either revocable or irrevocable trusts that you may be able to create with assistance from a trusts lawyer in Princeton, New Jersey.
Contact an Experienced Trusts Attorney in Princeton
If you have any questions about estate planning or the ways in which a trust may be able to help you or your loved ones, you should speak with one of our experienced Princeton trusts attorneys about your circumstances. Whether you have questions about setting up a living trust in order to avoid probate, you want to consider the possibility of an asset protection trust for Medicaid planning, or you need to set up a special needs trust for a disabled loved one, our firm can help. We have years of experience assisting clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with many different aspects of estate planning, and we can begin working with you today to determine which type of trust (or trusts) is right for you. Contact Scott Counsel, P.C. online or call our office at (856) 281-3131 to learn more about our services.
– When my son, who has Cystic Fibrosis and CF related diabetes, was suddenly and unexpectedly removed from his Medicaid program, we were devastated and frightened not knowing where we would get the resources to pay for his extremely high priced prescriptions. Justin was the attorney who handled our case. From the very beginning, he proved to be very thorough and experienced with navigating the process of reversing the Medicaid decision. However, it was his apparent kind, caring nature that made us feel the most at ease. Justin was successful in securing a continuation of benefits for my son, and we are extremely grateful for having his expertise during this most stressful ongoing process. Thank you, Justin!
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