If you’re just getting started with your New Jersey estate planning process, one of the most common questions you may encounter is whether or not you should have a living trust or a will. Both of these tools are very important for your estate planning portfolio.
One of the most important things to remember is that a living trust cannot address everything., like naming a guardian for your minor children. Even in situations where you’ve established a living trust, you may still need a will to help accomplish these additional goals. The number one reason that individuals choose to use a living trust is to avoid the probate process.
A will must go through the probate process while a living trust does not. There could be some costs and time delays associated with going through the probate process in New Jersey. If you own out of state property, a living trust can make sense for you because it might help avoid the ancillary probate process in that other state.
Trusts can also be especially beneficial for long term care planning and special needs planning situations. You need to consult with a New Jersey estate planning attorney about whether both of these documents are necessary for you. Every individual can benefit from having a will established but consulting with a New Jersey estate planning attorney can help you identify whether or not a trust makes sense.