In New York, what are the practical advantages, if any, to using a Living Trust versus a Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

In New York, what are the practical advantages, if any, to using a Living Trust versus a Will?

Asked on April 12, 2009 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I wanted to embellish on the answer already submitted. In NY the big advantage to making a living trust is that property left through the trust doesn't have to go through through probate court. However a trust requires that you list your assets very specifically because if you don't have a will and failed to disperse all assets , any property that isn't transferred by your living trust will go to your closest relatives in an order determined by state law. These laws may not distribute property in the way you would have chosen.

A living trust is also a bit more tedious. For example, if you want to leave your house through the trust, you must sign a new deed, showing that you now own the house as trustee of your living trust. This is not to say that the extra work is not worth it.

You should first review your assets and heirs. If you are married everything can go to your spouse making a trust not really necessary however if you are not married or widowed it may be beneficial. You should call an estate planning attorney and ask to come in for a consult. Often times this is free and you can get a better idea. I always tell my clients I still believe a will is a better option unless their estate is quite vast but again its all a personal preference.

Lastly if you are doing this for tax purposes a simple living trust has no effect on taxes. More complicated living trusts, however, can greatly reduce the federal estate tax bill for people who own a lot of valuable assets. So see where you estate falls and go from there

Good Luck!

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

This is general and not necessarily just in New York, no one can give you a definitive answer because an attorney well versed in estate planning and probate law must review your assets, liabilities, how you hold property, family dynamic (kids, parents, extended family), where you live, where your property is located, do you own your own business, are you an executive, do you have 401ks, 529 plans, other retirement plans, stocks, bonds, etc.

Generally a trust helps pass property to family outside of probate.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption