Estate Planning in New Jersey Using a Living Trust

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. a New Jersey Trust Attorney

Together with your lawyer, a plan for the ultimate disposition of your property is recommended. Your lawyer can assist you in a plan to create a Revocable Living Trust instrument which provides how you, as trustee, will manage your assets and how and when you will make distributions to beneficiaries. With your lawyer’s help, you will coordinate your assets (such as real estate, bank accounts, and securities) to be transferred to the trust. Title must be changes to the name of the trust buy no separate tax returns are required for the Revocable Living Trust. The tax laws consider you as still owning the property since you still control the property as trustee. All income from the trust will be considered earned by you for income tax purposes. At your death, the property in your trust is included in your estate for estate tax purposes.

If you do not want to transfer your assets to an RLT now, but still want the protection and advantages the RLT can provide, then you can establish your RLT and add a durable power of attorney. The trust agreement will be executed, but the RLT will be funded with only a nominal sum. The trust will exist on a “standby” basis, awaiting the receipt of your assets if you become incapacitated. Your power of attorney gives the person you select (called the “attorney-in-fact”), the power to transfer your assets to your standby trust. If you die suddenly, however, there obviously will not be time to transfer your assets to the trust and your property must go through probate. New Jersey law can limit the use and acceptance of a power of attorney.

Contact me personally today to discuss your New Jersey trust matter. I am easy to talk to, very approachable and can offer you practical, legal ways to handle your concerns. You can reach me toll free at (855) 376-5291 or e-mail me at fniemann@hnlawfirm.com.