A will defines the final or last wishes of a person, hence its legal name “Last will and Testament“. The maker of the will is known as the testator and the primary purpose for creating the will is to transfer the testator’s property to his or her chosen heirs at death. A will is enforced by the court only after the death of the testator, and can be used to address the following issues:
- Defining the distribution of assets to beneficiaries;
- Appoint guardians to minors;
- Name an executor of the will;
- Name heirs;
- Address payment methods of estate taxes and debts.
Every will created in Queens is subject to probate in a probate court in Queens. When a will is found to be invalid during probate, or in the event no will could be found of the deceased, the estate is said to be intestate, that is, subject to the intestacy laws of the state. When this occurs, assets will be distributed to only the closest family members of the deceased.
A trust is an estate planning document which is an agreement for a trustee to hold the Grantor’s property for the benefit of a third party i.e the beneficiary. Such property will no longer be available for use by the Grantor during his lifetime unless the trust is revoked. At the death of the Grantor, the assets in the trust will pass on to the Grantor’s heirs, unless otherwise stated by him while creating the trust. One distinct characteristic of trusts is that they can be used to transfer property even before death.
There are two major types of trusts in Queens namely a revocable living trust and an irrevocable trust. While the revocable trust can be changed, the irrevocable cannot.
Advantage of a trust over a will
Avoidance of probate
Assets in a trust are in the name of the trust, and so will not be subject to the lengthy, costly and complicated process of probate. On the other hand, all wills must be probated before they become effective.
With a trust, assets can be passed on to beneficiaries through the trustee without public interference. But with a will, the court, all family members of the decedent, as well as creditors will be notified, and the worth of the estate will be brought to the court and for public view.
Avoidance of multi-state probate proceedings
Qualifying for Medicaid
There are certain kinds of trusts which you can create that can help you qualify easily for Medicaid, including nursing home and home care coverage.
Save on estate tax
With a trust, you can significantly cut down on your estate taxes as opposed to wills.
Avoid future guardianship issues
By creating a will, you appoint a trustee who will look after your assets. By so doing, you have automatically appointed a guardian who would handle your personal and estate affairs should you become mentally unsound or incapacitated such that you can no longer handle such matters on your own. However, you have to clearly state this in your terms of trust while creating the trust.
Get professional assistance
All of these benefits require proper knowledge and planning before you can get the best of them. Creating trusts and wills Queens may be a problem if you have insufficient knowledge about the laws applicable in this NYC borough. Before creating a will, a revocable or irrevocable trust, kindly hire or book a consultation with an estate planning lawyer specialized in Wills and Trust Queens.