Trusts vs. Wills
Trusts and wills are steps taken today to help protect your future. And it’s important to note that although they can be complicated, they can be made significantly simpler if you enlist the help of an experienced and knowledgeable NY attorney, like those at the Strazzullo Law & Associates, PLLC.
A last will and testament is a document that delineates your final instructions regarding your property and assets, names your executor (someone to carry out your will), and names a guardian for your minor children if you have any. Many people under the age of 50 who don’t have enough property to worry about estate taxes can get by with only a basic will. If you don’t make a will before your death, then state law will determine what happens to your property and a judge may decide who cares for your children. But it’s important to remember that even if you do have a will it is likely that your estate, no matter the size, will have to go through probate. Probate court proceedings can take six months to a year, plus three to five percent of your estate in lawyers and court fees. But there are ways to avoid probate, like creating a trust, for instance.
Trusts are arrangements under which one person holds legal title for another person called a beneficiary. A living trust is when you are trustee and beneficiary while you are alive, keeping all control over your property. The property specified in a living trust can pass to beneficiaries without probate. After the trust document is created, then property must be transferred into the name of the trust. For many things this just requires a list of property with the trust document, but for titled property, like real estate or vehicles, it must be retitled in the name of the trust.