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Understanding the role of testamentary trust

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2020 | Estate Planning |

For most people in New Jersey, their children’s well-being is one of the most prominent goals in their lives. For many, this extends to ensuring that they are properly provided for should they become unable to make decisions for their children. As a result, many parents choose to explore their estate planning options and may decide that a testamentary trust is the best option for the unique situation.

By creating a testamentary trust, a benefactor has more say over asset distribution upon his or her death. Typically, it is created within a will and goes into effect upon the benefactor’s death. For example, a parent could set up an asset distribution schedule for minor children stipulating that certain amounts are released at a certain time.

Unlike a living trust, the assets included in a testamentary trust still go through the probate process. Another difference is that testamentary trusts do not go into effect until the benefactor’s death whereas a living trust goes into effect within his or her lifetime. While a testamentary trust may have many benefits for a moderate estate, other options may be more appropriate for estates with a higher value.

Knowledge of all the estate planning tools available can help parents in New Jersey and across the country fully understand the options that work best for their individual needs. However, it is often necessary to have an experienced attorney to help in the creation of wills and trusts, for example. Having an experienced professional taking charge of the process can ensure that a person’s wishes are clearly stated and enforceable.


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