New York Will and Trust Lawyer
Most people are familiar with the term “Will and Trust” although they may not be entirely certain what they are. The term “Will and Trust” has become synonymous with the concept of Estate Planning. Most people have a reluctance to delve into Estate Planning, as it is sometimes viewed as unpleasant. However, having a well crafted estate plan is essential to provide you with peace of mind, knowing that your wishes will be carried out, and your loved ones will be taken care of. These documents can be fairly simple or very complex, depending on your particular situation. It is important to consult a New York Will and Trust Lawyer to ensure that your estate plan meets your needs and protects your rights.
A New York Estate Lawyer can advise you that everyone should have a Will, regardless of the size of your estate. If you die without a Will in place, state law will dictate how your estate is distributed. There is a common misconception that if you have a Will, you will be able to avoid Probate. This is actually not the case, unless you have a very small amount of property in your estate. Probate is a court process where an executor or administrator is appointed to manage your estate. In this process the executor or administrator will pay any outstanding bills and inventory the items in your estate, and distribute the assets to your heirs. The probate process can be rather lengthy, and can take months to years to resolve. It can also be costly, as there will be court costs and attorney fees to contend with. There are however, other ways to avoid probate which will be discussed below.
A Will, also referred to as a Last Will and Testament, should name the people or organizations you wish to leave your property to, name a guardian for your children, and name an executor, who will be in charge of the terms of your Will once you have passed. It is wise to consult a New York Probate Lawyer to assist you in this process. There are not only important legal details to attend to, but formalities in creating a Will that must be adhered to in order to ensure that it is valid.
A Trust, also called a Living Trust is another important Estate Planning tool. A Trust is an extremely useful document to include in your estate plan, as it will allow your estate to avoid Probate. As mentioned above, Probate is a court process where estate property is appraised and inventoried, debts are paid and assets are distributed. This process however can be long and costly to the estate. By avoiding Probate, the assets of the estate will be maintained and left to the heirs without being diluted by Probate costs.
The process of creating a Trust involves drafting the Trust document, where you will name yourself as the trustee of the estate. The property you own will then be transferred into the Trust. The document will outline how you would like these assets distributed after your death. You are able to maintain control of all of your assets while you are living because you are the trustee.
It is important to have both a Will and Trust. Some may feel that if they have a Trust, a Will seems redundant. A Will however serves as a safety net for any property that for whatever reason was not specifically named in the Trust.
If you need a Will and Trust, it is recommended that you contact an experienced New York Estate Lawyer from Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC. Estate Planning matters are important, and can be legally complex. Whether you are in the process of creating an estate plan, or perhaps you require assistance with Estate Administration or a Probate Litigation case, contact us for guidance. We will offer you a completely free, no-obligation case consultation with your first appointment. We have offices located in all 5 boroughs of New York, as well as Suffolk County, Nassau County, and Westchester Countyn. Phone us today to schedule your free appointment at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW.