How To Avoid Probate

Sussex County And Morris County Estate Planning Lawyers

Under New Jersey law, if a person dies without a will, the estate assets will automatically go to the surviving spouse and family members. But even airtight wills are subject to probate court decisions that can leave survivors frustrated.

What's the best way to avoid putting decisions about your financial estate into the hands of strangers? By establishing a revocable living trust or an irrevocable trust, you can control the distribution of money and other property during your lifetime and after your death. You will legally establish your final wishes before you die.

Morris, Downing & Sherred has been helping individuals and families create trusts and other estate planning tools for more than 100 years. When we meet to discuss your circumstances, we will take the time to talk about your goals and the legal options that best serve your needs.

We offer a complete range of trust services to help you avoid probate, including:

What Is An Irrevocable Trust?

An irrevocable trust simply means that you are placing all or some of your financial holdings into a trust forever. Your financial holdings are beyond the decisions of the probate court. The advantage is that all assets are protected from creditors, judgments and other obligations, and you will control the distribution of your money to the people and charities you want to support. A disadvantage is that an irrevocable trust is exactly as it sounds: You cannot modify or revoke the trust and return the money to your personal accounts if you later change your mind.

What Is A Revocable Trust?

A revocable trust gives you control over the distribution of assets in your lifetime, but you have the option of collapsing the trust and recovering your assets, if necessary. Your financial holdings are beyond the decisions of the probate court. The disadvantage: estate tax savings may not be as substantial because you are not releasing control of your financial assets.

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Contact Morris, Downing & Sherred Today

Contact us online or call our offices located in Newton, New Jersey, at 973-383-2700 to learn more about our complete line of personalized estate planning and administration services.