What is a Trust?

February 13, 2022
Alec Borenstein, Esq.

Hello there, my name is Alec Bornstein and I'm a trust attorney in New Jersey and New York and a partner at Bornstein, McConnell and Calpin. We have offices in New York and New Jersey and we serve clients all over the tristate area.

The question that I get probably more than any other question is, “Alec, for the heart of my estate planning, do I get a will or do I get what is known as a revocable living trust?”.  Unfortunately, the answer that I always have to give is the “lawyer answer”. It depends.

It depends on who I'm talking to and where I'm talking to you. First, depending on your unique set of circumstances, it might be very important for you to have a trust versus a will, or vice versa. Some people have assets in many different states. In that situation, then you don't want your heirs to go through the probate process of every single state, and so having a revocable trust would make sense. Some people have all their assets in one state and so having a will is probably the way to go.

In terms of where you are, it depends on if you're in New York or New Jersey, the New Jersey probate process really is not that difficult, and so if all of your assets are in New Jersey and your plan is to stay in New Jersey, then you don't need to trust. 

However, if I'm talking to you and we're on the other side of the Hudson in New York, it's a completely different story. The New York probate process, especially in New York City, is very difficult, and in that situation it wouldn't make sense for you to have trust. So, unfortunately there's no one size fits all answer. Everybody is different and based on your unique set of circumstances, we can figure out together what the best plan is for you. And so if you have the question, do I need a revocable trust or should I just get a will - talk to me. Talk to one of our attorneys here and will guide you through the entire process and together we will come up with the best plan for you and your family. 

Related post: Key Differences in Trusts You Need to Know 

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About us

Borenstein, McConnell & Calpin, P.C. is a Wills & Estate Planning law firm serving Central and Northern New Jersey, as well as New York City. We strive not only to give you a great client experience, but to become your trusted adviser for life. To reach Alec, please send an email to alec@bmcestateplanning.com.

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Springfield, NJ 07081

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