People of all ages and health statuses should be thinking about estate planning. According to a 2020 survey from Caring.com, only 16% of Americans ages 18-34 have a will or another estate planning document. Whether you know that you need an estate plan already or you are not entirely sure what an estate plan really is and are trying to figure out if it’s something you really need, talking it over with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney can help.
At Adams, Cassese & Papp L.L.C., I am here to help you navigate your estate planning needs. With over 40 years of experience under my belt, I use my expertise to give individuals and families the trusted direction that they need. Whether you are drafting a will, trust, or other estate planning documents, I work to ensure that your wishes are honored and help you through these important decisions. I am proud to serve clients in Woodbridge, New Jersey as well as Sayreville, Perth Amboy, and Edison.
A trust is a legal arrangement between the trustee and the trustor. The trustor, also known as the settlor, creates the trust and places their assets into it. The trustee is the person who is responsible for managing those assets. There are two main types of trusts: revocable and irrevocable.
Revocable trusts, also known as living trusts, are trusts that allow you to maintain control of your assets while you are alive. As the name suggests, you can revoke the trust — meaning you can change or dissolve it — at any time. These trusts are more flexible and do not become permanent until you pass away.
An irrevocable trust is one that cannot be revoked, meaning it cannot be changed or modified in any way once it is established. In an irrevocable trust, you transfer your assets to another person and cannot change or undo the action once that transfer takes place.
Creating a trust involves a few steps. First, you must figure out what kind of trust you want to create and what assets you wish to place in it. Then, you must decide who the beneficiaries (the people inheriting your assets) will be. Next, you must choose who is going to be the trustee. This should be someone you have faith in to carry out your wishes. Finally, the trust document must be prepared and executed. Throughout the entire process, having an estate planning attorney can ensure that everything takes place according to the applicable laws.
Having a trust is important for a variety of reasons, including:
It Bypasses Probate — Probate is the legal process of verifying your will in court and dividing your assets after you pass. Putting your assets in a trust removes the requirement for your assets to go through probate.
Assets Can Be Kept in a Trust Until a Specific Date — By putting your assets in a trust, you can ensure that they will only be released to your beneficiaries at a certain time — for example, after they reach a certain age.
It Offers Protection in Case of Mental Incapacitation — A big reason trusts are important is because if something happens to you that leaves you incapacitated, your assets and wishes are protected within the trust.
It Provides Increased Privacy — Trusts are a private legal document. This is the opposite of a will, which is publicly recorded.
My understanding of the law can help not only make the process easier but also help you when it comes to making these important decisions. If you are located in Woodbridge, New Jersey, or the surrounding areas of Sayreville, Perth Amboy, or Edison, call or reach out to me at Adams, Cassese & Papp L.L.C. today to schedule a free case consultation.