Including a will in estate planning can ensure that assets are distributed as wished by the testator. However, many people in New York may also benefit from creating a trust, mainly those with larger estates. There are several different types of trusts that might serve their unique needs. However, it is advisable to learn more about the pros and cons of trusts before going that route.
An irrevocable trust can minimize estate taxes and provide protection from creditors because the assets will not be owned by the maker but by the trust, and not be at risk of being attached by creditors. Another option is a revocable trust, which is a more flexible option because its terms can be changed or even terminated by the trust maker during his or her lifetime. Both irrevocable and revocable trusts can avoid the expensive and lengthy probate process.
Of course, it’s important to consider the fees involved in creating the trust. Trusts typically also have ongoing expenses, such as the fees of a trustee if the testator does not manage the trust. However, those with substantial estates may find that the advantages gained from creating a trust far outweigh the anticipated expenses.
While trusts are valuable tools in estate planning, they are best handled by an experienced New York estate planning attorney. Legal counsel can explain the various options, which will allow the client to make informed decisions. The lawyer’s advice will be based on the client’s unique circumstances and applicable laws and estate planning procedures.