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Home » Estate Planning » Does estate planning have to involve trusts?

When making preparations for what should happen to one’s assets in the event of death, one may easily get overwhelmed. Most New Jersey residents know that they need a will. Does estate planning have to involve trusts, too?

The truth is, not everyone needs a trust. It all depends on the complexity of one’s assets, one’s goals and any special family needs. Those who are not sure would be wise to seek legal counsel on the matter.

If it is determined that a trust would be beneficial, choosing the right type can also be a bit of a challenge. There are various types of trusts out there. Those that are most commonly utilized are:

  • Revocable
  • Irrevocable
  • Charitable
  • Special needs

Each serves to protect assets, ensure they go to the right people, and protect beneficiaries from undue tax or other financial burdens that may come from a direct inheritance. For example, anyone wishing to pass assets on to a disabled child who is receiving government benefits could cause that child to lose his or her benefits by simply naming him or her as a beneficiary in a will. Legal counsel can provide more detail about each trust type and help one figure out which would best suit his or her needs and goals.

Estate planning is a lot of work. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to it. These plans are meant to be customized to one’s very specific needs — and that is a good thing. Some New Jersey residents would benefit from having trusts included in their estate plans, and others may not. With the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, it is possible to create estate plans that offer the protections desired, utilizing only those legal documents that are truly deemed necessary.

Source: FindLaw, “Types of Trusts“, Accessed on May 11, 2018