Advantages of Creating a Living Trust in New York
There are many tools that a skilled estate planning attorney can use in organizing your assets, offering your family and loved ones an easier and less costly way to receive the gifts you left for them. One such tool is the revocable living trust. Not only can a revocable living trust simplify the process of conveying money and property to your loved ones; it can also provide a way for your family to help with the management of your finances during your lifetime should you become disabled. Read on to learn more about living trusts in New York, and speak with an estate planning attorney about whether creating a living trust could benefit you and your family.
What is a living trust?
Living trusts offer you an alternate way to hold property which makes it easier for your heirs to inherit that property when you pass on. Unlike testamentary trusts, which are trusts created in a last will and testament, living trusts are created during your lifetime. Use of a living trust allows you to transfer all property held by that trust directly to your heirs outside of the will, thus saving them from the sometimes long and costly process of probate to obtain their inheritance. While some assets such as life insurance policies or IRAs cannot be transferred to a trust, those assets are already designed to bypass the probate process.
Living trusts allow you to name yourself as trustee, so that you can maintain total control over these assets during your lifetime. The only difference is that the trust will be listed as the owner on title to your assets, but the property is still wholly within your control as trustee. Living trusts can also offer the advantage of privacy. While a will becomes public record once it is submitted to probate, since living trusts are not administered by the court, if there is no probate their contents can remain secret. Most living trusts do not lower the income or estate tax burden on the property contained in the trust, but an experienced New York estate planning attorney can advise you of ways to help you minimize the imposition of taxes.
Avoid guardianship through the use of a living trust
Creating a living trust also offers you a way to ensure that someone trustworthy is in control of your finances should you become unable to manage them. Living trusts allow you to designate a successor trustee, such as a family member or other trusted individual, to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become ill or otherwise disabled. A trust can avoid the need for your family to go to court to seek guardianship over you, and you will have the opportunity to leave detailed instructions on how your property should be handled when you cannot do so yourself.
For assistance in creating a reliable estate plan, including creating a living trust or will, contact the experienced and knowledgeable Hudson Valley estate planning lawyers at Rusk, Wadlin, Heppner & Martuscello, LLP for a consultation, with offices in Marlboro (845-236-4411) and Kingston (845-331-4100).