Wills & Trusts
There are a lot of opinions as to whether to proceed with a will or a trust. Each individual situation may require one or the other, or combination of both. Either enables you, not the state, to make the decisions as to how your assets are distributed after your death and who administers them. There are several options for assuring that your assets will be administered the way you choose.
A will is a legal instrument that, upon death, allows you to control to whom your assets pass, and who will administer your assets. Wills only take effect upon death and may be revoked and amended by a competent person any time prior to death. Upon death, wills are filed with Probate Court.
A Trust is an instrument wherein one party, designates another party, a trustee, to administer an estate or assets for a third person, a beneficiary. Assets placed in trusted are distributed by its terms and need not be administered through probate court, thereby insuring privacy for a family. Trusts may sometimes, but not always, eliminate filing tax returns and paying taxes on a decedent's estate.
Trusts generally can be administered more quickly and with less statutory requirements and time restrictions than probate administration.
A living trust is an instrument one creates while alive, but distribute assets the grantor's death. Living trusts can be revocable or irrevocable, depending on the needs of the client. Each its own tax consequences.
What is intestacy?
Intestacy, dying without a will, invokes state statutes which determine the distribution of assets based on the relationship of the decedent to his or her surviving heirs at law.
Having Your Estate Planned
It is important to determine how you want your estate planned and to not allow the government to decide how it will be distributed if you pass away without an estate plan in place. You need to need to think in advance as to how you want your estate distributed and to whom; how to minimize tax liabilities; and how to ease any transition on your loved ones. We can help you make the right choice for your estate planning needs.