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What are the Differences Between a Will and a Trust?

What are the Differences Between a Will and a Trust?

When an individual lives a long life, they usually find themselves with many cherished assets that should continue to be taken care of after they pass away. To do this, an individual can create an extensive estate plan. This allows them to create a plan that prepares for what happens to their assets when their life is over. This can include assets such as real estate, bank accounts, securities, and personal items. There are many options to set up an estate plan, two of which are writing a will or creating a trust. An experienced attorney can guide an individual through creating a will that is best for them and their loved ones.

What is a Will?

When an estate plan is created, people sometimes wish to write a will. This is a legal document that allows an individual to plan for what happens to their assets after they pass away. Having a will can prevent any concerns or worries about what would happen to these assets if they were to be left unmanaged. In addition to this, a will makes sure a person’s belongings end up in the hands of the people that they choose. This can avoid any possible conflicts between loved ones disagreeing over where and to whom they believe the assets belong.

If an individual passes away without a will, it is called dying “intestate.” This means their assets are given to and can be distributed by the state of New York. In the event of this, the state typically follows a schedule of succession to determine who the assets belong to. These decisions are based on their relation to the deceased.

What is a Trust?

Another way to manage your assets in an estate plan is through the creation of a trust. A trust is a contract between the estate and a trustee. A trustee is a person who manages a trust for the individual who benefits from it, who is also known as a beneficiary. This arrangement allows a trustee to hold the assets on behalf of the beneficiary.

There are certain benefits to setting up a trust instead of other estate options. Trusts avoid the probate process, making it possible for a beneficiary to gain access to the assets sooner than they would with a will. It also allows a trustor, the owner of the estate, the opportunity to control their wealth by deciding who the assets will belong to. Similar to a will, it allows them to make sure their properties end up in the right hands. There are several different types of trusts that may be created in New York. This may include but is not limited to:

  • Revocable Trust
  • Irrevocable Trust
  • Asset Protection Trust
  • Inter Vivos Trust
  • Life Insurance Trust
  • Testamentary Trust
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Supplemental Needs Trust
  • Generation-Skipping Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder and Charitable Leads Trusts

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is interested in creating an estate plan and is seeking legal counsel, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today.

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.

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