After amassing wealth in New York during your lifetime, there are things you need to put in place to provide protection for yourself, your amassed assets, and your family. Such protection should ensure that no matter what happens to you by age or death, your assets would fall into the hands of those who you feel are most deserving of them, and that they would be well taking care of. If that is your goal, then you should know a little more about Wills and Trusts NYC.
Wills and trusts NYC are very powerful legal documents in the state of New York. Both are used by the vast majority of people for their protection and the disposition of their assets at death. While the use of one may be enough for an individual, some individuals would require both for their estate plan.
A will is a document created by a testator, which clearly states his desires concerning the distribution of his assets after his passing away. In effect, a will is dormant from the point of creation until the death of the testator.
Most wills are typewritten but in New York, handwritten wills – known as holographic wills — and oral wills are recognized. However, the former has to be recognized by two disinterested parties as truly bearing the handwriting of the testator, and the latter must have been declared by a member of the armed forces at war or a mariner at sea, and must be proven by witnesses for these two wills to be valid in NY.
Any will created for an estate worth over $30,000 must be probated, that is validated in a law court after the death of the testator. Probate gives a lot of publicity by calling out all beneficiaries, family members and interested parties as well as creditors of the estate. During probate, all estate taxes and debts are paid by the executor from the estate’s purse before distributing the left over funds to the beneficiaries. But what if the will doesn’t pass as valid in the probate court?
When a will fails the validation process, it is equivalent to not having a will at all. The estate is declared intestate and will be distributed according to the intestacy laws of NY, and these laws only benefit the closest blood relatives of the decedent. Hence, if you want any loved one outside your family to benefit from your estate, you should ensure your will is well created to meet all legal requirements.
A trust is a legal arrangement that gives one party, known as the trustee, the right to handle property on behalf of the beneficiary. Prior to the creation of the trust, the property was owned by the trustor, i.e the creator of the trust. Once that property has been transferred into the trust, it takes the name of the trust and the trustor ceases full ownership of it. Nevertheless, it benefits the trustor by giving him authority to lay down instructions on how the assets are to be managed by the trustee, and how they are to be passed on to beneficiaries.
An irrevocable trust is a type of trust which, once created, leaves the control of the trustor and can never be changed or terminated. A revocable or living trust can be altered or terminated at anytime by the trustor, and once such a trust is terminated, the trust assets takes the name of the trustor once again. Revocable living trusts are created to protect an individual during incapacitation, so that the trustee can look after the trustor’s assets since he will not be able to do so himself. At the death of the trustor, the trust assets will be passed down to the named heirs of the trustor according to his laid down instructions in the trust.
It is worthy of note that one is at liberty to put some or all of his assets in the name of the trust. It is also worthy of note that any asset bearing the name of the trust (that is, not bearing the name of the decedent) can be passed on to the heirs without going through probate, and this is one of the major advantage and difference between wills and trusts NYC. By avoiding probate, a lot of time and money will be saved.
Since you may not want to transfer all your assets as you would lose ownership and full benefits of them all, you may transfer only a few assets into the trust, and then create a pour-over will which will transfer the rest of your assets into the trust at the moment of your death. By so doing, you can continue using such assets until you die.
To create and ensure your wills and trusts NYC meet all state requirements, it’s recommended you seek the assistance of a wills and trusts NYC attorney.