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Trusts: Powerful vehicles to bequeath estates to young children

Most people tend to avoid thoughts about their own mortality. However, New York parents of young children should consider the possibility that an accident or illness might claim their lives before their children reach adulthood. Such thoughts might bring up many questions about wills, trusts and investment accounts, and the pros and cons of each option.

Trusts: Why would Burt Reynolds leave his son out of his will?

Following the recent death of actor Burt Reynolds, it was revealed that, although he left a will that was established in 2011, he excluded his son from it. However, this was reportedly intentional, as Reynolds chose to provide for his son in a trust. People in New York might question the reason why some choose to provide for surviving loved ones in trusts rather than wills.

Trusts and wills are best drafted with experienced legal counsel

While many New York residents fail to establish estate plans, those who do often make unintentional mistakes. Drafting a will and creating trusts are best done with the guidance of experienced legal counsel. One of the biggest mistakes is neglecting to review estate plans at regular intervals to ensure life events, such as deaths, births, marriages and divorces, are reflected and that the necessary modifications are made to keep it current.

Living trusts require revisions to keep them current

New York residents who have established estate plans might find comfort knowing that their living trusts are in place to manage their estates while they are alive and after they die. However, with passing time comes life's changes and events, some of which might affect a living trust. For this reason, occasional reviews of trusts are crucial.

Estate planning involves more than wills and trusts

Estate planning is a subject many New York residents like to avoid -- not realizing that taking care of it sooner rather than later can provide peace of mind to parents and their children. However, professional guidance is necessary to explain the different aspects. Estate planning is not only about trusts and wills. One should combine those instruments with powers of attorney for coverage in the event of the person becoming incapacitated.

Trusts can protect loved ones with special needs

Advice about how to provide for a loved one with special needs in New York must be considered carefully. Some advisers suggest disinheriting a child or sibling with special needs, for fear an inheritance may disqualify him or her for receiving state benefits. However, that might be unwise when the goal is to ensure the financial stability of the intended heir throughout his or her life. In many circumstances, special needs trusts are an appropriate choice.

Pet trusts can ensure uninterrupted care for beloved companions

Whether pets are playmates of children or companions for older people, they are often regarded as part of the family. For that reason, many people have the same concern for the welfare of their pets if they should die, as they have for their children. Pet trusts have become the solution chosen by many New York residents to ensure continued care.

Trusts: What is the purpose of a special needs trust?

Families in New York with disabled loved ones may consider available options to ensure their proper care. Special needs trusts can be set up to augment government assistance for a person with disabilities. Benefits provided by the state and the federal government typically cover no more than the individual's most basic and essential needs.

Trusts can protect assets in several ways

Nobody wants to lose control over assets that were accumulated during one's lifetime. While many New Yorkers think trusts are only for those with significant wealth, they are serve a wide variety of purposes and can guarantee the distribution of assets precisely as planned. Furthermore, beneficiaries can receive trust funds when the creator of the trust intended them to receive them -- at specific ages or upon predetermined achievements.

Revocable living trusts can be modified at any time

Life changes, and when it comes to estate planning, modifications may be necessary from time to time. Changing revocable living trusts can be done in different ways. Although a complete revocation can cancel the trust, this can be an expensive and time-consuming process. New York residents have other less-complicated options available by which the necessary changes can be made.

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