A will includes your instructions for what you want to occur after your death, including how you want your money and property to be distributed and who you choose to act as guardian to your children. When you die, your will becomes irrevocable.
A living trust is like a semi-substitute for a will. While you’re alive, your assets (home, property, bank accounts, stocks, etc.) are put into a trust. When you die, they’re transferred to your beneficiaries. Usually, people name themselves as the trustee and a successor trustee is also named. The successor is the person who will be in charge of the trust if the owner becomes unwilling or unable to continue to manage it.
Estate planning is the process of preparing for your future needs in the event that you’re unable to take care of yourself. This can involve your family, charitable organizations and anybody else you’d like to be involved. Estate planning does not just include writing your will, but also planning for your finances, taxes, medical needs and business.
Do I need an attorney?
Yes! Here’s why:
- If you get one word wrong or miss one signature on a will or trust, the entire intent can be changed.
- In New York, state law is extremely specific about what can and cannot be included in a will, trust, medical power of attorney or financial power of attorney, as well as who can and can’t serve as your personal representative, trustee or surrogate.
- There are also strict rules regarding who’s allowed to act as a witness and the formalities that have to be observed when signing a legal document.
- An estate planning attorney can help you navigate complex situations, such as estate planning when you’re in your second marriage, if you own a business, if you have assets in a 401K or if you are widowed.
For more information about wills, trusts and estate planning, contact Lorenzo Angelino at (845) 214-1133 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit AngelinoLaw.com.