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Trusts: What is the purpose of a successor trustee?

When a person in New York sets up an irrevocable trust, another party is appointed as the trustee to administer the trust from the date of establishment. However, different types of trusts serve various purposes, and when a revocable trust is established, the trust maker can administer the trust him or herself. A successor trustee will be appointed to take over if the trust maker becomes debilitated and unable to manage the trust -- or when the trustor dies.

Wills and trusts are essential estate planning tools

Many people in the United States, including in New York, are at the age where they need estate plans but have not taken the time to create them. Without an estate plan, a person's assets may not end up in the intended hands following one's death. Both trusts and wills can be invaluable estate planning tools.

Trusts can help to protect retirement assets

A retirement account is usually the most significant asset a person owns. Through estate planning, people in New York can make sure that their heirs will get the most benefits from what remains of their retirement assets after their deaths. Trusts are particularly helpful for achieving this goal -- specifically, the typical revocable trust.

Trusts, wills important for young people too

When individuals in New York are young and healthy, it is easy for them to overlook the value of estate planning. However, failing to create an estate plan is a major mistake. Estate planning, which may involve creating wills or setting up trusts, is critical for ensuring that a person's assets end up in the hands of those whom he or she intends to receive them in the event of his or her death.

Trusts helpful for managing assets

Trusts are valuable estate planning tools when it comes to managing your assets in the complex modern world. However, determining which trusts may be fitting for your situation in the event of your death can be overwhelming, with the wrong decision potentially having negative long-term implications. An experienced estate planning attorney in New York can help you determine if a trust is an appropriate planning tool for you and your family.

Estate tax cutoff amount in New York will soon be rising

Here in New York, some, but not all, estates of deceased individuals are subject to a state estate tax. What determines whether or not a given estate here in New York will have a state estate tax liability? A deceased person's estate will be subject to the tax if, when you add the gross estate amount and the includible gifts amount for the estate together, the combined amount exceeds a certain cutoff level.

Understanding revocable and irrevocable trusts and terminology

Most people know very little about trusts, in part, because they assume that trusts are only for the wealthy. This isn't true. Trusts can be used for a variety of important purposes, including taking care of family members after the trustmaker's death, arranging for the care of individuals with special needs and arranging for donations to an important charity.

Actor's estate planning 'mistakes' were actually intentional

Americans are still mourning the loss of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died of a drug overdose in February of this year. Not only was Hoffman considered one of the greatest modern actors, he also seemed to be a success story of overcoming addiction. He had been clean and sober for more than 20 years before relapsing in the final year of his life.

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