Wills or Trusts – Which Should You Go with?
While people may be more familiar with wills from their depictions in movies
and television, establishing a trust is another effective way to pass
down what belongs to you. Ultimately, clients choose a will or a trust
based on personal preference or the size of their estate. Some may even
go with both because a will can back up a trust to account for anything
the trust may not cover.
Would a Trust Be Right for You?
There are many types of trusts that can be tailored to specific circumstances,
but by far the most common trust people seek is a revocable living trust.
A defining feature of this kind of trust is that it helps an estate avoid
probate court. Under circumstances where only a will or no such estate
plan is in place, the estate would enter probate court. That can mean
undergoing a lengthy process to divide the estate and racking up legal
fees. Because probate is often a matter of public record, it may also
expose details about your estate or family that you wish to keep private.
How does a revocable living trust avoid probate in Westchester County?
It all comes down to your trustee. This is the person you assign to receive
your estate upon your death and whom you trust to divide it among your
other beneficiaries according to your wishes. In this manner, a trustee
is like an executor during probate proceedings, As with an executor, a
trustee is bound by their fiduciary duty to act in proper accordance with
the law and your wishes.
Choosing a trustee who you can trust to carry out your wishes can be a
huge decision. However, you can consult with a wills and trusts lawyer
in Mt. Vernon for advice on the qualities that responsible and capable
trustees may have.
Is a Will Your Preferred Option?
Building a trust may simply be too costly or complex to maintain. The flexibility
that trusts provide sometimes means they require a lot of attention to
ensure they’re properly funded or that existing assets are retitled
to them. Simply put, trusts can be a bit needy.
Clients can select a will when they want to focus less on revisiting their
estate plan throughout life. As with a trust, you can outline your wishes
to determine who of your beneficiaries will receive certain assets and
pieces of property. With a will, you can rest assured that a plan is in
place, even if it will require probate to be carried out.
The cost of probate can be minimized if your estate is otherwise well organized
and doesn’t require additional time, attorneys, or accountants to
hunt down important documents. A wills and trusts attorney in Mt. Vernon
can also help you arrange important documents associated with your estate
to help you minimize the cost of probate after you pass on.
For more information about setting up a trust or creating your will, call
The Browne Firm at