By: Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, JD

Law Made Easy Press

Martin M. Shenkman, P.C.
Law Offices of Martin M. Shenkman, P.C.
4 Forest Avenue
Paramus, New Jersey 07652


People are often scared of probate; however, they are usually not even sure exactly what it entails. Probate is the process of admitting a decedent’s will to court in order to receive legal documents known as “letters testamentary.”Letters testamentary give you the authority to act as executor of will (if you were named executor in the will). As executor, you are in charge of administrative tasks, such as collecting and distributing assets and paying debts:

  • People avoid probate because they think it will make them lose money. But in fact, you can save money by paying an executor pay.
  • Usually the process only takes a long time because of litigations, complications, or wieldy professionals.
  • A living trust is a contract (often a revocable trust, which means you can change it at any time,) in which you can place all your assets, except for pension and retirement funds, into one trust.
  • Living trusts do not actually save money but they do save time and energy by consolidating and simplifying all your assets.
  • Creative planning and living trusts:
    • Picking how to distribute assets. For example, if you have a family business, and a child from a previous marriage works there, make sure to put the business in their trust.
    • Consider having two living trusts, one for yourself, and one for your spouse, in case of complications.

The above is a summary of a segment of the show Simon Says: Manage Your Money, sponsored by Simon Financial Group, with guest Martin M. Shenkman, Esq. an estate planner in Paramus, New Jersey. Watch the video clip of this segment on for more financial tips.


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