If I Create a Trust in New Jersey Do I Still Need a Power of Attorney, A Will and A Living Will?

Many different estate planning tools can be used to help you accomplish your goals and it is recommended that you sit down with a knowledgeable New Jersey estate planning lawyer so that you have clarity over the goals you intend to accomplish and the strategies and tools that may be aligned with them.

You might need a will to be drafted in conjunction with the trust and this is known as a pour over will. For those assets that are not transferred into the trust, the will picks up those assets at the time of death and formally transfers them into the trust for central distribution.

You will also need a document known as a power of attorney which is required for those legal matters that cannot be handled by the trust, such as those assets that will not transfer to the trust or items that cannot be transferred like rights under health insurance policies or pension benefits or rights. In addition, a living will might be recommended by your New Jersey estate planning attorney more broadly or a health care power of attorney, which is used to handle substitute medical decision-making processes during lifetime and death.

Once a living trust is established, it can be changed. You may choose to use a living trust, a will and other estate planning strategies based on your initial consultation with an attorney who will help you clarify what you intend to accomplish and help you create a plan that not only serves you today but is capable of adapting with you in the future.

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