Trust Lawyer Bergen County NJ
If you are hoping to prepare an estate plan so that your assets go to the right people or organizations after you pass away, it would be highly beneficial for you to get a trust lawyer in Bergen County, NJ. Creating a living trust can give you the opportunity to pass on what is important to you to those you love. While there are many ways that a person may be able to create a trust on their own or with a self-service for creating a trust, you will likely be able to get the most out of it if you are working directly with a lawyer who specializes in estate planning.
Learning About a Trust
If you want to create a trust, one of the first steps will be deciding if you want a single or a joint trust. If you are married, you probably want a joint trust so that you and your spouse can put your assets and property into one trust. However, it is possible to still have a separate trust if you are married. Next, you will want to:
- Gather property information. A trust is only as good as the information in it. If you do not take the time to know what kind of property you have, you will not be protected well. Your Bergen County, New Jersey trust lawyer will be able to help you gather all the information necessary for your property.
- Determine a trustee. When you create your trust, you will need to establish a trustee. You can also name someone as a successor trustee. Many people choose to name themselves as a trustee and have one or more people identified as successor trustees when they pass away. You want to make sure this is someone you can fully rely on to take care of managing your estate.
- Transfer property. Once you have created your trust, you will need to transfer your property into your trust. This can become complicated and it will be to your benefit to work with a lawyer during this time so that you do not make any errors or leave anything out.
Don’t Hesitate to Secure Your Future
When you are doing something as important as creating a trust, you want to make sure you do not miss anything and that you have gone through every step. If you would like to learn more about creating a trust, contact Kaplan Law Practice, LLC to speak with a trust lawyer in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Common Mistakes to Avoid with Trusts
Establishing a trust can have come with many benefits, from protecting your privacy to minimizing estate taxes. However, if you make certain mistakes, your trust might not do what you had hoped it would. Here are a few common mistakes you need to avoid:
- Failing to fund the trust. Your trust won’t do anyone much good if it isn’t properly funded. Even if you establish a proper trust with clear instructions, it can’t do anything without assets. The assets that aren’t in your trust will have to go through probate. Therefore, you should fund your trust as soon as possible.
- Going the DIY route. There are many DIY software programs to create trusts. While this might sound like an attractive option initially, you may want to think twice. Trusts contain complicated legal terminology that the average person doesn’t understand. If you don’t completely understand something in the form, you could make several mistakes and waste money. If you hire an experienced trust lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, from the beginning, you can have a well-prepared trust.
- Forgetting to update your trust. Too many people establish their trust and forget about it. However, it’s necessary for most people to update their trusts multiple times throughout their life. When you go through a major life change, like the birth of a child or divorce, you should review your trust and make the proper changes.
- Selecting the wrong successor trustee. The successor trustee is responsible for distributing the assets from your trusts to the right beneficiaries. This is a big job, so you shouldn’t choose just anyone to do it. The person should be trustworthy, organized, communicative and fair. If you don’t think anyone in your family is qualified to do the job, you can always hire a corporate trustee.
- Using the wrong wording. If you want your trust to carry out your wishes, you have to be careful with the type of wording you choose. If you use words like “request” or “hope,” for example, the trust might not hold up in court. It’s important to ask your lawyer what language to use to avoid complications later on.
- Failing to read your trust. After your lawyer has drafted your trust, you should take the time to read through it to ensure it says what you want it to. If you don’t understand something in the document, ask your lawyer about it.
Why You Should Consider Starting a Trust
Your Final Wishes Will Be Honored
When you work with a trust lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, your final wishes are more secure than if you simply write a will. A trust protects your assets, and your wishes, against legal action. Therefore, those who are unhappy with how you wish to distribute your assets do not have legal standing to dispute your trust and distribution.
However, a trust is not totally invulnerable to legal disputes. For example, if you were mentally incapacitated when you set up the trust and didn’t understand all the aspects of your trust, then an heir may have legal standing. In addition, if you were under duress or undue influence, your trust can be contested. However, this process is still more difficult than if you had a simple will.
One of the most significant benefits of a trust is that any family disputes that may result from the division of your assets are avoided. Your attorney can help you tailor your trust to your specific situation or to your heirs’ situations. Each beneficiary will receive a specified amount or assets. You can also designate special items for the individuals who will appreciate them the most.
Little to No Probate
The probate process can be long and complicated, and every day your heirs could lose money in legal fees. If you only have a will, a judge must determine whether it is valid. In addition, if you have assets not listed in your will, the probate process helps determine who they go to. This process can last up to two years.
Law firms that specialize in trusts, such as the Kaplan Law Practice, can help you create a trust that doesn’t have to go through any probate process. Instead, your descendants receive their assets and property quickly and without probate fees, which can be as much as five percent of your total estate.
You Maintain Your Privacy
Because trusts do not go through the probate process, you and your heirs maintain your privacy. Your assets and their distribution never become part of a public record. However, you will have to speak with your trust lawyer in Bergen County, NJ to determine if you have to register a trust that contains securities or real estate. To avoid this registration, you can secure your assets in a partnership rather than a trustee.
Build a Charitable Trust
If you have a passion for specific charities, you can designate that some of your assets go to those charities after your death. For example, your trust lawyer in Bergen County, NJ, e.g., those found at the Kaplan Law Practice, may donate real estate, money, art or other assets to these organizations.
Contact Kaplan Law Practice, LLC today.