Estate planning is something many people have heard about but don’t completely understand. It’s more than just drafting a will. There are additional ways to protect your estate and give you more flexibility with your assets. Setting up a trust is one of them.
Even if you have a last will and testament in place, your heirs will typically need to prove the will is valid before claiming any assets from your estate. In New York, this means admitting the will into the Surrogate’s Court for probate. Probate may be necessary even if you’ve detailed how your assets will be dispensed to your beneficiaries. It’s a complex, time-consuming legal process. By putting your assets in a trust, you can save your family the time, money, and stress of going through probate.
Eliminate or Reduce Estate Tax
Both New York and the federal government can impose an estate tax on your assets after you die. Estate tax rates can be quite steep and significantly reduce the amount your heirs will inherit. However, this does not have to be the case. If your assets are placed in a trust, and the trust is created correctly, estate taxes on your assets may be greatly reduced or outright eliminated.
Trusts Provide More Control Over Your Assets
Wills are relatively limited instruments when it comes to allocating assets after your death. Trusts provide you with greater flexibility for distributing your assets, such as making donations to charity, protecting your family home, allocating assets for family members with special needs and helping your heirs to preserve the family’s assets. Furthermore, not only trusts do provide protection in the event of incapacitation or death, but can also be in effect while you are alive. Wills, on the other hand, can only be in effect after you pass away.
Low-Maintenance Estate Planning
Once they’re created, trusts are fairly easy to manage. Unless you have a major change in your life — getting married or divorced, having a child, etc. — it’s unlikely your trust will need to be amended. This makes for a low-maintenance approach to estate planning. Keep in mind that both wills and trusts will need periodic reviews to account for changes in the law or unforeseen circumstances such as the death of a beneficiary.
Considering Setting Up a Trust? Reach Out to a Manhattan Trust Attorney at Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP
The New York estate planning lawyers at Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP are fully equipped to help you establish the right trust to meet your needs. Put our innovative NY trust lawyers to work for you. We’ll develop a focused strategy to help achieve your goals and protect your legacy.
Call or contact us today for a free consultation.
Chaves Perlowitz Luftig LLP is one of the most highly regarded real estate and estate planning firms in New York City. Our team of top-rated real estate attorneys and estate planning lawyers have extensive knowledge, resources, and connections to help you achieve your goals and plan for the future.