New Jersey Makes Changes to Uniform Trust Code

Effective July 17, 2016 New Jersey officially enacted the revised Uniform Trust Code. The act, which was introduced by state Senators Christopher “Kip” Bateman and Peter J. Barnes, III, applies to “express trusts, charitable or noncharitable, and trusts created pursuant to a statute, judgment, or decree that requires the trust to be administered in the manner of an express trust.

new jerseyThis act supplements and revises New Jersey’s existing laws on trusts by providing the state with more comprehensive guidance than the initial Uniform Trust Code, which was codified in 2000 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws as a way to help states navigate the legal obstacles involving trusts. It also contains more understandable rules on representation of beneficiaries, provides more flexibility on trust modification and termination of trusts and includes an article with special rules pertaining to revocable trusts, the issues surrounding revocable trusts and the use of revocable trusts as an alternative to wills.

Among those changes under the new Uniform Trust Code, a parent is allowed to represent a minor or unborn child in a trust, conservatorship or guardianship, provided the parent has no conflict of interest; the court can appoint someone to represent the interests of the trustee if the court deems the legal counsel’s handling of the matter to be inadequate; and a clause has been included for special needs trusts to protect those who are young or disabled from creditors under the “spendthrift provision.”

Trusts and estates is a very complex area of the law and changes to the state’s Uniform Trust Code makes it even harder to understand. The attorneys at Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney P.A. can assist you in all aspects of probate, creating and litigating wills, forming and managing revocable and irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney, gifts, family living partnerships, naming beneficiaries and developing a strategy that will ensure your assets are protected and your legacy endures. Call (973) 256-0456 for more information.

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