To create a will, you have to start by making a list of your assets and debts. Ensure that you add the contents of safe deposit boxes, family heirlooms, including other assets you wish to transfer to a certain individual or entity.
If you want to leave a certain personal property to specific heirs, create a list of those allocations for eventual inclusion in your will. In addition, you can identify the recipients of certain assets in a different document regarded as letter of intent or instruction kept alongside the will. But, if you add assignments only within this letter, ensure that the document is legally binding where you reside, as some states don’t recognize them.
The letter of intent can be drafted more informally than the will. It can also consist of specifics that will assist your executor settle your affairs, including account numbers, passwords, and even burial instructions. Other addenda to the will, like a power of attorney, medical directive, or a living will, can instruct the court in handling matters if an individual becomes incapacitated
If you and your spouse don’t have a will, you might want to create a single document that covers you both; quell this temptation or urge. Estate planners almost generally advise against joint wills, and some states don’t even recognize them. Separate wills are ideal, even if your will and that of your spouse may be identical (as said above, a joint will is not to be confused with a mutual will.)
Types of Trust
Trusts are can be grouped as either revocable or irrevocable. Both are living trusts, which denotes that they are created during your lifetime. The difference between a revocable trust and an irrevocable trust lies in the amount of control you have over the assets and beneficiaries, including the tax benefits available.
A revocable trust is a trust in which the terms of the trust can be changed, altered, or modified by the trustor. The trustor can also decide to terminate the trust anytime without the consent of the beneficiaries of the trust.
The primary benefit of a revocable trust is that it helps your estate skip probate, which is a complex court probate designed to facilitate the transfer of ownership of your assets to your heirs after your death.
Probate is a public process that can be time-consuming, costly, and pretty stressful for your family (especially if you reside in New York).
An irrevocable trust is a trust that the trustor cannot alter, modify or change once it is created, or one that becomes irrevocable upon his death. If the trustor needs to modify an irrevocable trust he or she will have to do it with the permission of the beneficiaries.
An irrevocable trust is used for estate planning. Parents can transfer a life insurance policy into the name of the trust so that the death benefits is not added in their estate for estate tax reasons. Because of this, an irrevocable trust is always regarded as an irrevocable life insurance trust, or an ILIT.
The disadvantage of this type of trust is that it is, not surprisingly, irrevocable, as you can’t take the money back out of the trust, at least without passing through some challenges. On the flip side, one of the main benefits of an irrevocable trust is that the trust assets are protected from any future creditors of the trustee.
Who is a Trust Attorney?
A trust lawyer is a lawyer who helps individuals set up trusts for their estate. This professional also provide advice and recommendations to individuals who wish to set up trusts. A trust lawyer can help you set up a trust that aligns with your wishes.
Who is a Will Attorney?
A will attorney is a lawyer that specializes in the creating of wills for individuals. These professionals have the experience, knowledge and resources needed to help you create a will that mirrors your wishes and adheres to the guidelines of the state government.
Always have it in mind that a judge can deem your will invalid if it believes that it wasn’t created using the laid down principles. If this happens, it means it would be assumed that you died intestate (without a will). So, to avoid this, ensure you hire a competent will attorney, New York.