Living Trust Attorney

IF AVOIDING PROBATE IS YOUR GOAL, YOU NEED A GOOD LIVING TRUST ATTORNEY

A living trust can serve a number of purposes.  A living trust may also be known as a grantor trust or revocable trust. The trust can help you avoid the probate process. It can also provide lifetime benefits such as property management in the event of disability or incapacity. There are many considerations in establishing a living trust and a living trust attorney can help determine whether a trust would be right for you. It is important to recognize that a living trust will only control those assets that are transferred into the name of the trust. Assets that remain in the name of a person at death still must be transferred pursuant to a last will or, if none, through intestate administration.

As noted, one of the benefits of a living trust is to avoid probating a Will.  When a person dies and leaves an estate to be administered through a Will, the New York Surrogate's Court must receive the original of the Will along with a probate petition and other papers.  The validity of the Will cannot be finalized until the court is satisfied that all aspects of probate are complete.  One of these aspects is the notification of all of the decedent's next of kin who are given an opportunity to contest a Will.  If a person creates and funds a living trust during life then, upon his death, the provisions of the trust can direct the immediate disposition of the trust assets without any need for a court to validate  the document.  Also, no notice of the trust disposition is required to be given to the decedent's heirs.  As a result, estate litigation may be avoided.  Another benefit of a trust is that there is no need to attempt to identify and locate the decedent's next of kin.  This may be important particularly in cases where the heirs at law may be very distant relatives such as cousins who have had no contact with the trust creator for many decades.  Similarly, if a person had been adopted the search for his natural relatives can be very difficult.  In a Surrogate's case when issues arise concerning next of kin, there may be the need to prove kinship which can require the use of genealogists and locating family documents such as birth and death records.

As can be seen, there are advantages to a trust since the transfer of assets at death can take place without complicated court proceedings and in relative privacy without public record filings. However, there may be some negative aspects to a living trust. There is generally no savings on federal estate or state inheritance taxes. Also, setting up a trust may be expensive, and the expense is immediate, not delayed till after the grantor's death. However, in the long run depending on the circumstances, the expense may be worthwhile if the trust provides the appropriate estate plan for the client.

I have many years of experience working with and advising clients. I work closely with clients to advance their personal desires regarding the disposition and protection of assets while providing potential tax advantages and security for their family and beneficiaries.

For personalized attentive service and a free case evaluation you can contact me by telephone (212) 355-2575, fax (212) 751-5911 or e-mail