Is a revocable living trust the best way to avoid the expense, time and hassle of probate? Is a will still necessary? Those most familiar with Estate Planning Law Nassau County NY simply say that what is best for an individual depends upon their unique circumstances.
What is a Revocable Living Trust?
In essence, a living trust is an empty box into which property is legally transferred during the lifetime of the person creating the trust, the grantor. The trust is revocable, meaning that the grantor can change or revoke the trust. The grantor appoints a trustee to manage the property; often, the grantor and the trustee are the same person.
The purpose of the living trust is to avoid probate, making a stressful time a little easier for one’s loved ones. Most, but not all, property can be transferred into a living trust. IRAs or other retirement accounts are an exception. The trust establishes what happens to the property in the trust upon the death of the grantor.
Pros of a Living Trust
* Heirs inherit property within the trust without the necessity of probate. The assets held in the trust are treated in the same manner as life insurance under Estate Planning Law Nassau County NY and aren’t subject to probate. Click here for more information.
* Anyone with property in two or more states would benefit from having that property held within a living trust, thus avoiding probate in multiple jurisdictions.
* Some states, like Florida, restrict who can serve as a decedent’s personal representative during probate. Having out-of-state property held by a living trust would be much simpler for heirs.
* A living trust is not subject to public scrutiny in most states, a benefit for anyone who wishes their affairs to remain private.
Cons of a Living Trust
* In New York, probate is fairly quick and simple, especially when compared to states like California and Maryland which have much more complicated and lengthy probate laws.
* An well-drafted estate plan is a better solution for saving on taxes. Since an living trust is revocable, the assets within the trust receive no special treatment for tax purposes.
* A will is still necessary.
At The Law Offices of Peter Morra, the attorney and staff have been providing legal services to New Yorkers for over 30 years. When you need knowledgeable legal counsel regarding Estate Planning Law Nassau County NY, contact Peter Morra.