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The benefits of wills and trusts in estate planning

Many people in upstate New York may not understand that estate planning has various benefits while the testator is still alive. Although wills, which form a part of estate planning, ensure that the deceased person's wishes are honored, other aspects of the planning could deal with living plans. Careful planning can help an individual to accomplish several tasks. Including a revocable living trust or a will in estate planning allows a person to determine to whom he or she would like to pass property and assets upon his or her death.

The documents are not one-size-fits-all but drafted to suit the unique needs of the testator. With a trust, he or she can state when heirs should receive the property and whether there are restrictions or conditions to receiving the inheritance. This is a useful feature for those who have minor children. The difference between the two options is that a will has to go through the probate process in court while a revocable living trust does not. The trust cannot only save time but also expenses.

Estate planning can also determine who will be the caregiver of minor children and their money, which need not be the same person. An executor for the will or a trustee for a revocable living trust can be appointed to carry out the testator's wishes. A trust can also be used for determining who will manage the person's finances and medical issues if he or she is no longer able to do that due to illness or injury while still alive. These appointments are called powers of attorney.

These are but some of the benefits of drafting wills and establishing trusts. Because each individual's circumstances are unique, it is always a good idea to utilize the skills of an experienced estate planning attorney in upstate New York. Legal counsel can explain the various options and assess the person's circumstances before suggesting the best way to proceed.

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