A Living Trust Attorney is someone that helps families set up a trust and transfer assets in a way that avoids probate. Probate is a complicated process that can take months to complete, and it can be expensive as well. Having an experienced estate planning attorney that can help you avoid this process can save your family money in the long run, as well as provide peace of mind for your loved ones after your death.
To set up a trust, you need to have an idea of what assets and property you wish to include in it, as well as a trustee that will manage these assets for you during your lifetime and after you pass away. Once you have your plan, you will need to have your trust documents prepared by an attorney and executed by a notary. Once this is completed, you can transfer ownership of your assets into the trust in order to make it legally binding.
You can put almost any type of asset into your trust, including real estate, cash, bank accounts, investment account balances, and even artwork or heirlooms. However, there are some assets that require additional paperwork and filing fees to transfer over, such as a deed to a home or titles for cars. If you have a lot of assets, your estate planner may recommend setting up a joint trust with your spouse in order to streamline the process.
Another benefit of a living trust is that it outlines your wishes for managing and distributing your assets, which are known as bequests. These can be as detailed or as general as you like, and you can assign different items and sums of money (also called a bequest) to various beneficiaries. You can also include specific instructions for caring for any dependents or pets that you may have.
If you are concerned about your trustee mismanaging your assets, you can also have your attorney create a document that mandates annual accountings to beneficiaries. This can be in the form of monthly bank statements and an Excel ledger, or it could involve a third party auditor.
A final advantage of a living trust is that it can minimize your estate taxes. While the state of New York does not impose an estate tax, the federal government does impose an inheritance tax, which can be very high in some cases. In addition, a living trust can help ensure that your estate does not exceed the maximum amount allowed under current law.
A living trust is a powerful tool that allows you to avoid probate, save time and money for your loved ones, and express your intentions for managing and transferring your property after your death. A living trust can be created by yourself, with the help of an online service such as LegalZoom, or with the assistance of a qualified estate planning attorney. If you are considering a living trust, contact the College Point living trust lawyers at Albert Maimone & Associates, P.C. to schedule a consultation.