Do I Need a Trust in New Jersey?

Posted by ANGELA RICH HARTMANN | Apr 06, 2021

Do I need a Trust in New Jersey?

It depends.  This is an answer that is given often.   While it is an unpopular response, it is almost always accurate. 

In many states, one reason to prepare a trust is to avoid the expense and difficulty associated with probating a will.  Probate in New Jersey is an inconvenience, but it is less a burdensome and less costly process than many other states.  If the only reason you are considering a trust is to avoid probate in New Jersey, alternative estate planning options are likely better suited for your needs.

If you have objective beyond New Jersey probate avoidance, for example, for example, ease and control of assets in life and death, asset protection, protecting beneficiaries, or other objectives, an analysis of your estate in light of that goal will help determine the best estate planning vehicle to arrive at your destination.

When might a revocable living trust be a good option in New Jersey?

A revocable living trust may be a prudent option if you wish to plan for seamless control of your assets during your lifetime, in the event of your disability and upon your death. That is, the trust is, itself, an entity that cannot become disabled or die.  It operates as it is constructed by your direction.   While a Financial institution may freeze an account upon the death of the account holder, or require it be transferred into an estate account before it can be accessed and distributed, a trust will not have such bar.

Also, your revocable living trust can protect the assets in trust for your beneficiaries.  For example, your trust can be drafted to limit access to a beneficiary who may be inexperienced with money management, or have issues relating to overspending.  It can protect the assets from attack of the beneficiary creditors or future ex-spouses.   

Another reason to consider a revocable living trust is if you have multiple businesses or own property outside of New Jersey, especially if the property is located in a state where probate is difficult and costly. 

If you would like more information about trusts or estate planning in general, Hartmann Law LLC can help. 

Whether there is a life event that brings you to this page, or you have simply decided it is time, Hartmann Law is here to help. Each individual, couple, and family is different, and we offer dedicated and individualized attention to every Client. An Estate Plan will be discussed, created and tailored to your needs. Click HERE to contact Hartmann Law today, so we can determine how to best achieve your desired result.

About the Author


Angela Rich Hartmann is a New Jersey attorney serving clients in the areas of estate, business, and real estate law.