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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

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Living Trusts and Wills, Part Three

Last week, we introduced living trusts and personal wills as two potential avenues of estate planning. On Friday, we discussed personal wills in more depth, highlighting the issue of probate and why one may or may not want to have his or her assets go through the court.

Today, we're going to continue that line of conversation by tackling living trusts.

First and foremost, as Karin Price Mueller points out in her column for the Star-Ledger, living trusts are private documents. Whereas a personal will becomes public upon your death, the trust will stay behind the scenes.

This doesn't keep you from using the trust to distribute assets after your passing, however. While the living trust does allow your family and loved ones to bypass probate, a "successor trustee" can easily take control of the trust after your passing and manage its assets.

Why You Might Want a Trust

The biggest benefit of having a living trust, for most individuals, is the fact that they can continue to manage it during their lifetime, making changes as necessary. Many of the trust's functions, which may be continued after your passing, can be initiated while you are still alive, giving you even more oversight and control.

Now, while you might opt for a living trust, you may still want to consider a will. In most cases, you won't put all of your assets into a trust, meaning there could still be assets that you have not accounted for.

In New Jersey, Price Mueller writes, you have the opportunity to use something called a "pour-over will," which automatically transfers all of your assets into the trust following your death.

Source Article

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

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