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Experienced New Jersey Living Trust Attorney - Trusts

A living trust ensures that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes and makes the situation as stress-free as possible for your heirs. 

It is a myth that only the elderly or the wealthy need to worry about asset management in New Jersey. Anyone with significant assets needs to be concerned about how their assets will be managed or disbursed to their heirs when they are no longer able. For many individuals, having a revocable living trust can be the best way to do this. 

Creating a living trust as part of a comprehensive estate plan may make sense for you, offering you access to assets while you are still alive and simplified access for those you love after you are gone. A living trust ensures that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes and makes the situation as stress-free as possible for your heirs. 

At the Matus Law Group, estate planning attorney Christine Matus and our team of New Jersey living trust attorneys can help you create a revocable living trust specifically designed to meet your needs.  Our offices are conveniently located in Ocean County, New Jersey and Monmouth County, New Jersey.

To schedule a consultation with the Matus Law Group to process a trust, call us at (732) 281-0060.

Estate Planning in New Jersey

In today’s world, it is more important than ever to plan for the future. That is why at the Matus Law Group in New Jersey, we have dedicated our firm to asset management and estate planning for families just like yours.

Whether you want to leave a lasting legacy for your heirs or want to save your family the hassle of probate after you are gone, placing your assets in a living trust can offer you peace of mind and a hassle-free process for your family. At the Matus Law Group, estate planning attorney Christine Matus and our skilled team of New Jersey trust lawyers have been committed to families and their futures for over two decades.

To schedule an appointment with the Matus Law Group to process a trust, call us at (732) 281-0060.

We Are Here To Help

Attorney Christine Matus (a special needs parent herself) and the entire team at Matus Law Group are here to help protect your family’s future today

Call now to make an appointment and discuss special needs planning (732) 281-0060.

Why a Revocable Living Trust?

A revocable living trust allows you, as the grantor and trustee, complete control of your assets during your lifetime. In addition, you can name a trusted successor trustee to immediately step in upon your death or incapacitation. This individual will manage your assets in a definable way should you become incapacitated and will distribute your assets according to the terms of the trust upon your death. In the meantime, your beneficiaries aren’t subject to the cost and delays of probate court.

How Revocable Living Trusts Work

A living trust is prepared during your lifetime to ensure that you have access to assets while you are alive. The trust is funded with your assets and you can act as trustee of the trust. In most cases, the majority of your assets will be placed in the trust. The trust then officially owns the assets. This leaves nothing titled to you, so upon your death, your assets can be passed to your beneficiaries through the trust without having to go through probate.

Upon your death or incapacitation, your successor trustee will take over the management of the assets or distribute them to your beneficiaries. Because it is revocable, you have the right to change it at any time or dissolve it entirely.

If you have questions, estate planning attorney Christine Matus and the experienced New Jersey trust lawyers at the Matus Law Group are here to help. When you work with us, you get a skilled team of professionals who are committed to the safety of your future as well as your loved ones.

To schedule a confidential consultation with the Matus Law Group to process a trust, call us today at (732) 281-0060.

Any assets can be placed in a living trust, including:

  •     Your primary residence
  •     Investment Properties
  •     Bank accounts
  •     Retirement plans
  •     Stocks
  •     Bonds
  •     IRAs
  •     Businesses
  •     Insurance policies
  •     Cash

Assets must be transferred to the trust through the proper channels. So, for instance, any real property must be deeded into the trust’s name and properly filed. Other accounts must follow legal protocol to be transferred into the trust’s name to be controlled by the trust. Any assets acquired after the trust is created will also have to be added to the trust.

After you pass away, the successor trustee will distribute assets in accordance with the terms of the trust. There are three primary ways that you can pass assets to your beneficiaries.

  • As outright distributions – You can opt to give assets directly to beneficiaries without restriction.
  • As staggering distributions – You can opt to give assets over time as staggered payments or upon triggering events.
  • As discretionary distributions – You can allow the trustee to determine when the beneficiary receives assets from the trust. Some examples of these types of trusts are spendthrift trusts or special needs trusts.

Your beneficiaries are likewise protected under the terms of the trust. Whether they receive specific assets outright, or they receive income or discretionary funds, you, as the grantor, can set up the terms of the trust to best accommodate or protect your beneficiaries. If a beneficiary dies before, during, or after the trust is created, the document can make provisions for that. At the Matus Law Group, revocable trust attorney Christine Matus and our team of New Jersey estate planning lawyers can tailor your trust to you and your beneficiaries’ specific needs and circumstances.

To schedule a private consultation with the Matus Law Group to process a trust, call us at (732) 281-0060.

Who Can Act as a Successor Trustee in a New Jersey Living Trust?

The successor trustee has a great deal of responsibility. He or she is responsible for investing any assets prudently in the best interests of the beneficiaries. The trustee must also file state and federal income taxes for the trust and provide accountings to all beneficiaries. Consequently, you want to ensure that the individual you choose as your successor trustee is capable and responsible in taking on this role.

You may choose a trusted individual such as a family member or a trusted friend or associate. You may also choose to use a corporate trustee. Corporate trustees can include trust companies, lawyers, banks, and other financial institutions. These individuals or institutions have the experience of managing trusts that friends and family members may not have.

Like other forms of estate planning and asset management, revocable living trusts have their benefits and their disadvantages. While it is not an option for everyone, having a trust can be particularly beneficial for those who have significant assets, property in other states, special needs loved ones, or have a large extended family where probate can become complex and time-consuming.

Is a living trust right for you? Some questions that your New Jersey living trust attorney may ask when consulting with you are:

  • Will it benefit your beneficiaries to avoid probate?
  • Do you own real property in other states?
  • Are there children from previous marriages who may be at risk of disinheritance?
  • Is your spouse or other beneficiaries capable of making good decisions or handling complex financial matters?
  • Do you have sons or daughters-in-law that you are concerned about in the case of divorce or your child’s death?
  • Do you have beneficiaries who are at risk of losing public benefits if they receive an inheritance?
  • Are there privacy concerns?

These are matters that make creating a living trust especially beneficial. New Jersey probate attorney Christine Matus and the estate planning lawyers at the Matus Law Group can go through these specific scenarios with you so you can understand your options and how a living trust may or may not benefit you.

To schedule a confidential appointment with the Matus Law Group to process a trust, call us now at (732) 281-0060.

Living trusts have some distinct benefits.

  • Most grantors choose living trusts to allow their beneficiaries to avoid probate. The state of New Jersey has adopted the Uniform Probate Code that streamlines the probate process for estates up to $50,000 with a surviving spouse and $20,000 or smaller without a surviving spouse. If your assets are more than this, a living trust will enable your heirs to avoid traditional probate.
  • If you own out-of-state real estate property, a living trust will allow you to avoid probate from that state. Some states have complicated and costly probate procedures when the property is owned by individuals outside the state.
  • If you have children from a previous marriage, you will want to ensure that those children benefit from your estate instead of all assets going to your spouse. A living trust is an excellent way to ensure that this happens.
  • If your spouse or other beneficiaries are not capable of or are not yet of an age to make sound financial decisions or handle the complexities of your assets, it can be advantageous to keep assets managed by a trustee more capable of managing complex assets or large amounts of money.
  • Once assets are distributed to your heirs, they then become part of your beneficiary’s estate. You may want to ensure that your assets don’t go to a son-in-law or daughter-in-law if something happens to your child.
  • Do you have a special needs beneficiary who may lose public assistance if they receive a substantial inheritance? Keeping assets in a trust allows them to maintain public services while still getting the benefit of assets managed by a trustee.
  • Many families want privacy when it comes to the death of a family member. If you or your family have privacy concerns, having assets distributed by a living trust keeps the information out of the public eye.

A living trust can be adapted to your particular circumstances. Estate planning attorney Christine Matus and the New Jersey trust lawyers at the Matus Law Group will answer your questions and tailor your living trust according to your unique needs.

To schedule a private appointment with the Matus Law Group to process a trust, call us today at (732) 281-0060.

Get in touch:

The Matus Law Group is always here to help answer your questions – (732) 281-0060.

If You Create a Living Trust, Do You Still Need a Will?

While a living trust can be advantageous for many individuals, there are some things a living trust cannot do. You still need a will if:
  • You have minor children – A trust cannot name a guardian for your children. If you have minor children, you will still need the will to name a guardian in the event that you become incapacitated or die.
  • There are properties or assets you have not placed in the trust – If you have not placed all your assets in the trust, the trust will not be able to transfer them. Without a will, any property not included in the trust will then be distributed in accordance with New Jersey interstate laws.
At the Matus Law Group, estate planning attorney Christine Matus and our experienced New Jersey trust lawyers are happy to sit down with you and discuss your questions and concerns and how to approach your living trust to safeguard your legacy and the specific needs of your family.

Other Types of Trusts in New Jersey

Trusts can be used as flexible instruments. They have evolved over the years in order to address the different needs of each family. In New Jersey, other types of trusts include

  • Special Needs Trusts (SNT): This trust is an Estate Planning tool that protects assets for Special Needs Beneficiaries. Having a special needs trust does not exclude the beneficiaries from receiving needs-based government benefits like Medicaid.
  • Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLAT): This type of trust is an irrevocable trust that married couples use to protect their assets. SLATs are becoming a popular tool for estate planning.
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT): These trusts are an old favorite among estate planners. These trusts are helpful in removing life insurance from a taxable estate.
  • Disclaimer Trusts: A disclaimer trust is a technique for estate planning and asset protection where married couples include a voluntary irrevocable trust into their Will or Revocable living trust.
  • Education Trusts: These trusts are Irrevocable Trusts that are specifically designed to pay tuition for beneficiaries. This type of trust is a great way to remove the need for parents to save up funds for their children’s education and can save the children from the burden of student loans.

Trusts can be used to protect assets and provide flexibility in estate planning. Talk to an estate planning lawyer about the best way to incorporate trusts into your estate plan.

Experienced New Jersey Living Trust Lawyers at Matus Law Group

Anyone with significant assets should consider asset protection and having a concise estate plan in place. With a revocable living trust, you can have access to assets while you are alive, and your beneficiaries’ needs will be met should you pass away or become incapacitated. Estate planning attorney Christine Matus and the skilled New Jersey living trust lawyers at the Matus Law Group are here to offer advice and counsel. We create many different types of trusts, depending on your unique situation.

Call us at (732) 281-0060 or fill out our online contact form.

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