You may want to consider the creation of a revocable living trust, even if you do not consider yourself to be wealthy. People sometimes think that trusts are only useful for high net worth individuals, but this is not the case when it comes to a revocable living trust.
When you create a revocable living trust, you facilitate timely and effective asset transfers to the beneficiaries. These distributions would not be subject to the legal process of probate. On the other hand, if you use a will to state your final wishes, the inheritances would not be distributed to the heirs until the estate was probated and closed by the court.
In New York, this will take nine months to a year in cases that are not at all complicated.
In addition to the probate avoidance, you can also leave behind specific instructions that the trustee must follow after you pass away. For example, you may not want the beneficiaries to receive their inheritances all at once. You could allow for monthly distributions, and you could allow for larger lump sums to be distributed when certain age thresholds are reached.
One of the nice things about a revocable living trust is the ongoing flexibility. You will probably never do it because you are using the trust as an estate planning vehicle, but if you want to, you can revoke the trust entirely. It is also possible to change the trust terms along the way.
If you acquire property after you create the living trust, you could add the property to the trust declaration or schedule, re-title it, and convey it into the revocable living trust. You would go this route if you want the beneficiaries to inherit the property after your passing outside of probate.
You could also allow the trust to capture any property that you have in your direct personal possession at the time of your death through the creation of a certain type of will called a pour-over will.
Living Trust Report
To learn more about revocable living trusts, download our special report. This in-depth report is being offered to our readers on a complimentary basis at the present time, and you can visit this page to access your copy: Smithtown NY Living Trusts.
Schedule a Free Consultation
You should have a thorough understanding of all of your options when you are planning your estate. If you have questions about living trusts, we can provide you with answers.
Our firm offers free consultations, and we would be glad to assist you. To set up an appointment, send us a message through this page: Smithtown NY Estate Planning Attorneys.