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Considerations before appointing a spouse or child as a trustee

When someone in Upstate New York decides to fund a revocable trust as a part of estate planning, determining whom to appoint as the trustee would require careful consideration. The testator would want to know that his or her plans would be carried out as wished. A trustee could be a spouse, child or another family member, or the choice might fall on a professional person such as an attorney.

Why do creators of trusts have to appoint successor trustees?

Estate planning is not only for the wealthy. Everyone in New York state would be wise to establish wills and trusts with the guidance of legal counsel. When a person sets up a revocable trust, the trustor can manage it while he or she is alive and able. However, a successor trustee must be appointed to take over the management of a trust upon the creator's death or if his or her mental or physical deterioration debilitates the trustor.

Trusts have benefits, but wills are also important

Estate planning is often a daunting prospect for people in New York and other states. Knowing when and how to establish trusts -- and making sure wills meet the legal requirements -- could be daunting. A will is a document to ensure the testator's wishes are carried out, but certain assets cannot form part of a will.

How does an asset protection trust differ from other trusts?

Trusts are established as a part of estate planning by many people in upstate New York. Trusts can create financial legacies for surviving loved ones, and some use them to minimize estate taxes. Individuals who are concerned about legal action to attach some of their assets have additional options in the form of asset protection trusts.

Trusts can ensure funds to take care of minor children

Some New York residents put estate planning on the back burner for when they are middle-aged. However, anyone who earns an income and has children should seriously consider the need for wills and trusts. Lives can be lost in the blink of an eye, and wills and trusts can ensure that funds are available for the care of young children, should the parents die before the children reach adulthood. Parents do not usually want to stop and think of such a possibility, but having estate planning documents in place could provide peace of mind.

Pros and cons of including trusts in estate planning

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.

Estate planning requires review of wills and trusts

Many people in New York do not realize the importance of reviewing estate planning documents occasionally. Once wills and trusts are established, reviewing them can ensure that life's changes are reflected in these documents. Advisers say all important legal documents should be reviewed and modified if necessary at three- or five-year intervals and also upon reaching certain milestones in life.

Procrastination prevents some from drafting trusts and wills

It is not uncommon for people in Upstate New York to put estate planning on the back burner. Some procrastinate, while others do not want to consider their mortality, and still others might do estate planning without professional guidance. Seeking legal counsel can prevent the many basic mistakes made by people who do not understand the intricacies of trusts, wills, powers of attorney and other estate planning documents.

Do unmarried couples need trusts and wills?

Many couples in New York state choose to remain unmarried for a variety of reasons. They might have financial or personal reasons not to get legally married. Those who have children from a previous marriage or relationship may fear that a new marriage might affect the inheritance of their children. However, those are matters that can be addressed in trusts, and unmarried couples are advised to make all their wishes known by executing estate planning documents.

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