If you are looking for an alternative to a will or you want to start sharing your assets during your lifetime, a trust might be an appropriate instrument. However, it may be beneficial to discuss your estate planning needs with an experienced trusts & estates attorney first before making a final decision. If you are interested in discovering more about trusts available in New Jersey, a Moorestown trusts lawyer could provide you with further information.
Trusts in Moorestown
No matter the type, most trusts in Moorestown are subject to the Uniform Trust Code. These regulations are codified in New Jersey Revised Statutes §§3B:31-1 through 3B:31-84.
Trusts themselves are codified via a document that instructs the trustee on how to administer the trust money. A legal professional might also refer to the money in the trust as the res.
The person who forms the trust is often called the grantor or the settlor. The recipients of the res, or proceeds from its investment, are called the beneficiaries.
The Duties of Trust Administrators
A trustee has many responsibilities to the beneficiaries and the settlor, including duties of both loyalty and due care. For example, they may not engage in self-dealing nor exhibit risky behavior that depletes the res.
That being said, some Moorestown trusts may be discretionary, meaning the trustee may prudently invest the funds and distribute them as they see fit. However, some settlors may choose to be very specific in directing the trustee to follow their instructions precisely.
A trust identified in a last will and testament may go into effect when the will is read, and the court could appoint a trustee if one has not been chosen. A capable Moorestown trusts attorney may be able to provide advice on how to choose a trustee.
Problems with a Trustee
Per N.J.R.S. §3B:31-57, a trustee must act in accordance with the terms of the trust instrument and make a good-faith effort to meet the purposes of the trust. Furthermore, under N.J.R.S. §3B:31-71, a court may suspend or dismiss a trustee if it deems that they have failed to fulfill their duties of loyalty and due care.
In certain cases, beneficiaries to a trust may have issues with the trust administrator’s adherence to these obligations. If so, the settlor, beneficiaries, or a co-trustee may approach the court with an allegation that the trustee has been self-dealing and seek the removal of the trust administrator. A skilled trusts lawyer in Moorestown may be able to help consult on a case involving an unsuitable trust administrator.
Make an Appointment with a Moorestown Trusts Attorney
A trust can be a practical option for those who would like to put someone in charge of managing and distributing their assets. If you think you would like to set up a trust, but you are not sure what kind might be appropriate, a seasoned Moorestown trusts lawyer could present you with several possibilities for passing on your funds. Call today to schedule a meeting and get your questions answered and your concerns addressed.