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McCurrie McCurrie
& McCurrie, L.L.C.

680 Kearny Avenue
Kearny, NJ 07032-3010
Phone: (201) 467-4180
Fax: (201) 997-9567
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Writing protection clauses for trusts and guardianships

In planning their estates, many New Jersey residents choose to protect their minor children by creating a trust and naming a guardian. A trust can ensure that at some point a minor child receives the funds from the trust, and naming a guardian ensures that a specific person will take guardianship of a minor child in the event that something happens to the parents. A guardianship or conservatorship may also be established if an estate owner becomes incapacitated and unable to handle matters of the estate.

With a trust, a trustee has to be named to manage the fund in accordance with the terms of the trust. As is the case when choosing a guardian for a minor child or a child with special needs, the person you name as a trustee should be someone who is trustworthy and capable. Unfortunately, though, sometimes a trustee or guardian proves untrustworthy, and it is important to have legal language in place to remove and replace that individual.

Estate owners can prevent future family conflicts by including a power-to-remove clause in the trust. It may also be a good idea to have an attorney include an accounting clause that requires the trustee to provide details regarding taxes, distributions, investments and other trust-related issues.

A trustee clause or a guardianship clause can be included in a will, and an estate planning attorney can help draft such clauses in such a way as to ensure their validity in the event that an unforeseen dispute arises.

Source: NJ.com, "Your Legal Corner: Selecting a guardian or trustee," Victoria M. Dalton, Jan. 19, 2014

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