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Estate, Powers and Trusts, § 7-1.4: Purposes for Which Trust may be Created

When you create a trust, a trustee holds assets in the trust on behalf of beneficiaries you choose. You can transfer practically any type of property to a trust including cash, stocks bonds, other securities, insurance policies, real estate, antiques, and artwork. Under New York Estate, Powers and Trusts, § 7-1.4 a trust can be created for any lawful purpose. Thus, there are many different types of trusts that are created for different purposes. The type of trust that you need depends on your estate planning goals. For example, New York estate law allows for educational trusts, special needs trusts (supplemental needs trusts), charitable trust and spendthrift trusts. You can even create a pet trust that benefits your dog or cat. Furthermore, under New York trust law, a trust can be revocable or irrevocable. To learn more about the estate planning process and how to create a trust that will meet your estate planning goals, contact an experienced New York Trust Lawyer.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. When trust interests not to merge: Estates, Powers and Trust, § 7-1.1
  2. Trustee of passive trust not to take: Estates, Powers and Trust, § 7-1.2
  3. Purchase-money resulting trust abolished: Estates, Powers and Trust, § 7-1.3
  4. When trust interest inalienable; exception: Estates, Powers and Trust, § 7-1.5
  5. Supplemental needs trusts established for persons with severe and chronic or persistent disabilities: Estates, Powers and Trust, § 7-1.12

Pet trust. In 2003 Lenore Lewis Abels executed a will that left $115,000 in cash bequests to various charities for the care of animals and the rest of her assets in trust for her husband, Joel. If Joel did not survive her she left a portion of her estate to her housekeeper, Eugenia Chodnicka, and allotted funds in a “pet trust” for Eugenia to maintain the home and care for her cats. In re Copland, 988 N.Y.S.2d 458 (N.Y. Surr. Ct., 2014)

Special needs trust. A special needs trust (SNT), also known as a supplemental needs trust, is a trust established for the benefit of a person with a severe and chronic or persistent disability. NY EPTL § 7-1.12. The assets in a SNT can be used to cover necessities as well as quality-of-life items such as special therapies, entertainment, education, and special equipment and vehicles including wheelchairs or accessible vehicles. Those with special needs often receive need-based government benefits. A SNT must be designed in such a way that the beneficiary’s eligibility for such benefits is not compromised. Thus, it is critical that a SNT is drafted consistent with both New York estate law relate to special needs trusts.

William Romanello died on February 7, 2013. He was survived by six adult children, one of whom is substantially developmentally disabled. In his will, Romanello left his entire estate in trust for the benefit of his 54-year-old disabled daughter. However, the will did not specifically state that the trust was to be a supplemental needs trust. Because of this the executor of the will, another of the decedent’s daughters had to go to court to request that the court determine that the decedent intended to create a supplemental needs trust. Otherwise, the disabled daughter’s access to Social Security benefits and Medicaid would be compromised. In re Paradiso, 2014 NY Slip Op 31849(U) (N.Y. Surr. Ct., 2014)

Estate, Powers and Trusts, § 7-1.4- Purposes for which trust may be created

An express trust may be created for any lawful purpose.

New York Trust Lawyer

A trust is quite complicated to set up. Many trusts require not just knowing your goals, who you want to name as the trustee, and who you want to name as beneficiaries. Setting up a trust requires an understanding of complicate laws tax laws, estate planning laws, and in the case of special needs trusts, laws related to Medicaid and Social Security Income. If your trust is not set up correctly the goals of your trust may not be realized and the financial consequences may be severe. To ensure that your trust, will and other estate planning documents are properly drafted and executed, it is important that you work with an experienced practitioner. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience working closely with New York clients to develop a variety of types of trusts as well as wills and other estate planning documents. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your estate issue. We serve individuals throughout the following locations:

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