The main purpose of every trust is to preserve assets that will eventually pass or transfer to beneficiaries. In order for the trust to be valid, the terms must clearly recognize that the assets will be transferred to beneficiaries. In addition, trusts are also used to: Continue reading “Purpose of a Trust”
Estate planning is a complex process. Estate planning often includes a Last Will and Testament and may also include utilizing a trust as well as advance directives such as a power of attorney, health care proxy, living will, and HIPPA release form, among others. While these concepts may be foreign, these estate-planning tools assist with creating a comprehensive estate plan. One of the most important tools in every estate plan is a trust. A trust is created to protect property and assets. In order for a trust to be valid it must: Continue reading “Trust Basics”
An inventory of assets is a form that may be required by the Surrogate’s Court. The form must be completed and delivered to the court by either the fiduciary of the estate or, at the request of the fiduciary, it may be provided by the attorney on record.
It is important to create a comprehensive estate plan, and there are certain measures that one can take to avoid probate if done correctly. Probate is the legal process whereby a last will and testament is determined to be valid and authentic by a court of law. Under New Jersey State Law, the will is admitted to probate when the executor files a “Petition for Probate” with the decedent’s will attached. Additionally, if the decedent died without a will, then an administrator would apply with the Surrogate. Probate proceedings take place in the county surrogate’s court where the decedent resided at the time of their death.
Over the last few years, both New Jersey and federal estate tax laws have changed. Currently, a decedent’s estate only needs to pay federal estate tax if the gross value of the estate exceeds $5,490,000. In New Jersey, estates with a value in excess of $2,000,000 have to pay the state’s estate tax. As of January 1, 2018, the New Jersey estate tax will no longer be in effect.