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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Getting estate planning documents in place without professional assistance could be a daunting task. While grantor trusts can be valuable tools for some, they may not suit all New York investors. This is a process typically best executed with the guidance and support of legal counsel.
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.
The Secure Act was signed into law on Dec. 20. It offers expanded rules and incentives that aim to benefit part-time employees, and it will enable the owners of small firms easier ways to provide retirement plans to workers. The signing of this Act also affects the way people in New York and across the country deal with wills, trusts and other estate planning concerns.