Before You Sign That Revocable Trust Form, Read New York Attorney Jules Haas’s Revocable Trust FAQS

Answers on revocable trusts from New York probate lawyer Jules Haas

If you are considering preparing a New York State revocable trust, it is likely that you want to determine where your assets go, how much goes to the government via taxes, and how soon your assets will be available to the people and causes you love. Control is the keyword with revocable trusts.

Establishing a New York state revocable trust form is a step in your journey towards creating an estate plan that provides for your family in the future and present.

Before you get started on the creation of a revocable trust, New York estate planning attorney Jules Haas has some answers to frequently asked questions about revocable trusts, their advantages, their disadvantages, and where you can learn more.

Q. What is a revocable trust?

A. A revocable trust is an Inter vivos (living) trust in which the grantor has the power to revoke (or change) the conditions of the trust.

Q. Why do people create revocable trusts?

A. Revocable trusts exist mainly to a) provide instructions for the care of your property and finances if you become incapacitated, and b) avoid probate and possible delays in asset transfers.

Q. Couldn’t you just provide instructions for care of your finances in a will or living will?

A. No. Living wills do not dispose of property, so you could not leave instructions for your assets and properties. A last will and testament does not apply in the case of incapacity. A New York state revocable trust is needed if you want to control what happens to your finances in the event that you are no longer able to make those decisions yourself while alive.

Q. You said revocable trusts help you avoid probate. How?

A. Assets held in a living trust do not go through probate. This is because the trustee (the person named in the trust agreement) already has legal title to the assets in the trust, so he or she can transfer title to the beneficiaries without going through probate.

Q. Why do people opt not to create revocable trusts?

A. Everyone’s situation is different and each requires different planning methods. A thorough review of an individual’s desires and goals is needed before a decision to create any trust is finalized. Many individuals do not require a living trust.

Q. What about an irrevocable trust? Does that avoid probate and taxes?

A. Possibly. There may be some tax benefits to the creation of an irrevocable trust, but the nature of an irrevocable trust is just like its name suggests: once you make it, it’s out of your hands.

With an irrevocable trust, all of the property in the trust, plus any future increases in the property’s value, ma not be subject to estate taxes. This is not true of assets placed in revocable trusts in New York—federal estate taxes and state inheritance taxes still apply. But with both trusts, you can avoid probate.

Want to get started on your revocable trust? New York estate lawyer Jules Haas is here.

Manhattan probate attorney Jules Haas assists his clients with all aspects of probate and estate settlement services, working closely and personally with executors throughout New York State to probate and settle estates efficiently.

For personalized, attentive estate planning services and a free case evaluation, you can contact Mr. Haas by telephone at (212) 355-2575, fax at (212) 751-5911, or by filling out this contact form.