Revocable Living Trust Lawyers in Jackson Heights, NY Helping Clients with Estate Planning and Asset Protection
We are told that it is vitally important to make legally valid estate plans in order to ensure that our loved ones are better taken care of and our property doesn’t needlessly languish in courts, racking up costly fines and tax costs. And while this is all true, that doesn’t necessarily mean that beginning the estate planning process is easy. There are, after all, so many decisions that need to be made. Do you need a will? What kind of will? Do you also need a power of attorney document? Which type? Do you need to create a trust, too? Okay, what sort of trust are you looking to set up?
Not every estate—and therefore, not every individual or their family—will benefit from each and every estate planning tool that is available in New York. But, for some of us, putting the right plan in place makes life so much easier. One such estate planning possibility which may be of special use to you and your beneficiaries is the revocable trust, also known as the living trust.
Unlike a will, where you’ll name the assets you wish to leave to your intended beneficiaries upon the event of your death, a living trust allows for the distribution of selected assets during your lifetime. Additionally, when you do eventually pass away, the trust does not need to go through probate the way that a will would.
To learn more about living trusts and whether they suit your needs, please reach out to the attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP. Our law firm has decades of experience providing legal services to clients all over the state of New York, and we would be privileged to aid you in the creation of your estate plan.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Living Trusts?
As with all estate planning measures available to New Yorkers today, the revocable living trust has its list of advantages and disadvantages.
The Advantages of Living Trusts:
- Avoiding Probate: Unlike a Last Will and Testament, a well-executed living trust could avoid the probate court process entirely. Probate court takes a long time and comes with other potential headaches. If you can avoid putting your loved ones through the probate process after your passing, then it could make their days of grief just that much easier.
- Maintain Control: Unlike an irrevocable trust, a revocable trust allows you to keep control over your trust and the assets within it. You can also change the terms and beneficiaries of the trust at any time if you so wish it.
- Privacy: Probate is a public process. By avoiding probate, you may keep the assets and distribution of those assets away from the public eye.
- Reduces Costs: In addition to taking a long time, probate also comes with its own expenses. By avoiding probate, you avoid those court filing bills and other costs.
The Disadvantages of Living Trusts:
- No Asset Protection: While an irrevocable trust grants a certain level of asset protection, shielding your trust’s assets from creditors and collection agencies, a revocable trust does not. This is because a revocable living trust still considers you the owner of the assets within the trust.
- No Tax Benefits: Similar to the reasons why you are afforded no asset protection, your living trust’s assets have no shelter from estate taxes as they are still considered to be your lawful property.
Is a Living Trust the Same Thing as a Living Will?
No, a living will and a living trust are not the same things.
A living will grants power of attorney authorities to an individual of your choosing, giving them duties and responsibilities to act on your behalf should you ever become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. These are useful for medical care and end-of-life decisions.
A living trust, meanwhile, is about putting your assets into a trust and protecting them from probate while distributing them at your leisure to yourself or your intended beneficiaries.
Do Revocable Living Trusts Avoid Probate?
Yes. One of the highlights of trusts is that they avoid the long and costly probate process. A will, on the other hand, is a legal document that must go through probate, where its validity will be determined before debts are settled, and instructions for inheritance are followed.
After the death of the trust’s creator (the grantor), trusts allow for assets to be distributed to beneficiaries without going through probate and paying any of the probate court’s accompanying legal fees.
Contact the Revocable Trust Attorneys of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP to Schedule Your Consultation
To learn more about trusts, and the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts, please contact the law offices of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP. Our trust lawyers can provide legal guidance and help you better decide which type of trust is most appropriate for your estate plan and your unique needs.
Trusts, powers of attorney, wills, and other estate planning documents can be complicated and overwhelming to those unfamiliar with their powers and uses. We understand this. Please know that everyone who walks through our doors will receive respectful and patient legal care as we try to provide advice for you and your estate plan.
The lawyers of Ortiz & Ortiz, LLP have proudly served clients in and around Jackson Heights, NY for years and we would be honored to speak with you about your questions and concerns. To schedule a consultation with our legal team of attorneys and associates, please call our law office at 917-540-9772.