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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
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Living Trusts and Wills, Part One

For New Jersey residents considering the creation of an estate plan, a number of options immediately present themselves. Two of the most popular estate planning tools are the living trust and the personal will.

While we've discussed both here on the blog before, with the end of 2010 quickly approaching, a refresher course is in order. 2010 was a unique year for those planning their estates. Amidst the confusion, and opportunity, the trust and will remain as solid planning opportunities for those with the foresight to do so.

Living Trusts Versus Wills

The main difference between personal wills and living trusts is how they are used to manage your assets. For example, a personal will designates the distribution of your assets following your death.

Say you have a collection of five very valuable classic cars. You would like to distribute one each to every one of your five grandchildren. In setting up your will, you could make this designation and, following your death, the will's executor would distribute the vehicles according to plan.

Now, say you want to set up a living trust instead of a will. With such a setup, you will be able transfer assets into the trust during your lifetime. More importantly, you will be able to manage the trust and, if necessary, change it. Living trusts also give you the opportunity to take advantage of moneymaking assets within the trust.

When you pass, the will goes into probate. Assuming you have laid out everything in a reasonably concrete fashion, probate should not be such a bad experience. It can, however, cost quite a bit of money depending on the circumstances.

Living trusts, on the other hand, are not subject to probate.

Source Article

  • Deciding between a living trust and a will (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

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