What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?

In the context of estate planning, you might sometimes hear about “living trusts,” also called revocable trusts or inter vivos trusts. Living trusts are useful tools for anyone trying to plan for their future under certain circumstances, as they can allow you to fully marshal all assets of your estate prior to your death in lieu of having a last will and testament. Living trusts can create some security for you and your loved ones, since you direct how the trust will be managed and distributed according to your wishes even when you are not there to take care of your family anymore. Continue reading “What is a Living Trust, and Why Would You Want One?”

Placing Property In A Revocable Trust

A common estate planning mistake occurs when individuals own or acquire property outside of a trust. This can lead to unintended tax consequences and exposing property to probate or creditors.

Placing property in a revocable trust provides benefits such as allowing assets to avoid the probate process. In addition, by placing property in a revocable trust, it will allow family members or loved ones to have control over the assets in the event that the creator of the trust becomes incapacitated. Otherwise, a court may need to appoint a guardian.

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Taking On The Role Of “Agent” In A Power Of Attorney

It may be a big undertaking when obtaining a power of attorney for a family member or loved one. A power of attorney provides authority to an agent to make decisions on behalf of the principal in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated. The “principal” is the person for whom an individual is acting as power of attorney. The “agent” is the individual responsible for carrying out the wishes of the “principal.”

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Adding A Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement To An Estate Plan

Many people who are looking to tie the knot believe that mentioning a prenuptial agreement eliminates the romance. However, like any business relationship, a prenuptial or even a postnuptial agreement provide a range of benefits and security to both parties involved in the marriage.

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Estate Plans Should Account for Digital Assets

Whether it’s through social media, online bank accounts, PayPal or email, today many people are storing their personal information and finances online. When an individual passes away, his or her online accounts will continue to remain active. For this reason, it is important to account for digital assets in an estate plan. By defining what assets an individual owns and how to access them, a person will ensure that their loved ones can access online accounts that may have sentimental, financial, or practical value. Additionally, making these accounts available to beneficiaries after death can prevent them from falling into the wrong hands, resulting in fraud or hacking.

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Debts of an Estate

When a parent passes away, oftentimes their spouse or adult children are left to settle the estate. While debt may be the last thing on the mind of someone that loses a loved one, it is an important issue that may arise upon their passing. Many people have similar questions when it comes to estate debt: Are the beneficiaries responsible for a loved one’s debt upon their death? What happens if the assets of the estate amount to less than the debt the parent owed?

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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.

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