The daunting prospect of planning for what will happen after you pass away can be difficult for even the most organized people. The American Bar Association estimates that more than half of Americans pass away without leaving behind any type of testamentary instrument.

If you have been hesitant about creating a strategic plan for how to distribute your assets and possessions, it might be a good time to contact a knowledgeable local attorney. A seasoned Moorestown trust and estates lawyer may be able to help you through the probate process and answer your questions about trusts and estates.

Trusts in Moorestown

Title 3B of the New Jersey Revised Statutes regulates the administration of estates in Moorestown. These statutes also establish rules regarding power of attorney, trusts, wills, and probate.

Residents may decide to place a portion of their assets in a trust while they are still living. This is called a living—or inter vivos—trust. The creator of the trust, called the settlor, may also serve as the trustee and manage their own funds until they pass away.

What is unique about a living trust is that the settlor may revoke it during their lifetime if they decide it did not operate how they intended. A capable Moorestown trust and estates attorney may provide counsel on the pros and cons of living trusts with clients during a consultation.

Conversely, a testamentary trust does not go into effect until after the will is read. Per New Jersey Revised Statutes §3B:3-10, a trust that existed when a will was written could be identified in that settlor’s last will and testament.

These documents may provide instructions for how the trust should be funded and managed by the trustee. Alternatively, the will may refer to the trust and give directions for how it should be administered. A trusts and estates lawyer in Moorestown could provide further guidance about how this process works.

Estate Plans that Include a Will

Some might fear that once they publish their will they cannot change it, but this is a misconception. Under certain circumstances and through proper procedures, wills published in Moorestown can be altered, augmented, or even revoked.

Before making any changes to a last will and testament, though, it may be wise to consult with a competent estates attorney. A skilled trust and estates attorney in Moorestown may be well-versed in alterations to testamentary documents and could help an individual settlor ensure their wishes are met.

Contact a Moorestown Trust and Estates Attorney to Learn More

If you feel ready to learn more about estate planning, legal counsel is available to discuss the process with you. If you have been chosen to administer an estate as an executor or trustee, a Moorestown trust and estates lawyer may be able to provide relevant recommendations.

You do not need to plan an estate and trust all on your own. Local attorneys are standing by to help you through the complex legal processes associated with end of life planning. Make an appointment today to speak with a practiced legal firm about your estate and trust requirements.