Life’s unpredictability makes it impossible to plan for every eventuality. But by drafting a Will and/or a Trust, you can make allowances for the most likely events. That being said, it is crucial that you understand the differences between these two consequential documents, because they can serve very different functions before and after you pass on. For more information on the distinction between a Will and a Trust in New York, please read on, then contact an experienced Rockland County probate attorney.

When might you need a Will and when might you need a Trust in New York?

If you require a document that will only go into effect after you die, then you will need to write a Will. This task might not even necessitate retaining the services of an attorney. Instead, you need a written document, some witnesses and their signatures. In this document, you should set out who will get your property at your death and who will serve as your executor, i.e. the person tasked with carrying out your wishes. On the other hand, the greater intricacies of a Trust will likely require you to hire legal help. However, it can be used to settle your estate faster and can provide confidentiality for Trust assets.

What do Wills and Trusts do?

The reasons to draft either document break down as follows:


  • Leave your property to people or organizations
  • Name a personal guardian to care for your minor children
  • Name a trusted person to manage the property you leave to minor children
  • Name an executor


  • Allows you to protect your assets during and after your lifetime
  • Transferred assets continue to be available to you during your life
  • After your death, they pass to your beneficiaries

In New York, what is better – a Will or a Trust?

That all depends on your unique circumstances. Nonetheless, we would be remiss if we did not inform you that if you are going to the trouble of creating a Trust, you would be well advised to simultaneously write a Will. You see, according to New York’s intestacy laws, any property not covered by a Trust will be inherited by a spouse or closest relative and may be contested. You may have reasons for disinheriting such parties, which is why you would be wise to reach out to a skilled Rockland County wills, trusts and estates attorney. He or she will help write your Will and Trust in the strongest, least-contestable language that can be arranged. Do not leave everything to chance. Please give us a call today.

Contact our Firm

The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.