New Jersey residents who are worried about their estate wishes being honored after death have several options. First, it may be possible to enter into a formal contract with a spouse to ensure that the terms of a will are not changed.
It may be worthwhile to create a living trust as language in this document may be customized to fit a parent’s needs. For instance, it may be possible to dictate that money is only given for educational purposes or for a down payment on a house. Trusts may be preferable to wills because assets in the trust don’t go through probate. Furthermore, it may be possible to create a special needs trust to care for children who may need care their entire lives.
Such a trust may make it easier for a child to still be eligible for government benefits. Another benefit of a trust is that it may cut down on expenses and costs related to going through probate. Once a trust is created, parents or guardians can then work on building stronger relationships and helping their children become productive members of society.
Those who want to review or create an estate plan may wish to consult with an attorney. Legal counsel could go over existing wills or to help create living trusts and other estate planning documents. Even if an estate plan is already in place, life events such as a divorce or estrangement from family members may make it necessary to update beneficiary designations or change who has power of attorney over assets.