Expanding your family is an exciting time that brings a whole new dynamic into the way you plan for your future and that of your loved one’s. When you have a Living Trust, your estate planning attorney in New Jersey can assist you in modifying your estate plan to make sure your new family member will be properly looked after.
One of the greatest benefits of a Living Trust is that it is very flexible, allowing you to change terms, amend its contents or even revoke it completely if you wish. Many Living Trusts are created as a shared trust with a spouse and making any changes to the trust will require written agreement from both parties.
Generally speaking, in the event of significant amendments to your Living Trust – such as the provisions made for a child – the best course of action is to restate the trust rather than revoking it or amending it. This is because amendments that transfer property carry a cost as well as significant paperwork and hassle, while the changes themselves may result in confusion. Restating the trust will insure the original date of the trust remains and that no assets are left out in error while the new amendments (such as who the property will go to) changes to that stated in the new trust document.
Is a Living Trust the right choice for you and your family?
While similar in some ways to a Last Will and Testament, a Living Trust offers several benefits to your estate and its benefactors. While Wills have to go through the probate process, which can be lengthy as well as costly, Living Trusts do not. This allows your assets to immediately transfer to your named trustee (often your spouse or family member) who will then have access and control over your finances and property. They also allow you to significantly reduce estate taxes or even eliminate them completely, insuring your family and loved ones are able to maximize their benefit from your estate.
Living Trusts are also ideal if you desire greater privacy and control over your estate as they bring all your assets together under one plan, allow you to change or revoke their terms easily and are never made public, unlike Wills. As trustee, you will also be able to set exact terms over when you want your beneficiaries to inherit, rather than leaving these decisions in the hands of the court.
These trusts are also very difficult to challenge and relatively easy to set up, making them an option well-suited to individuals who want to insure their assets are passed on in accordance with their specific wishes with minimum hassle.