Wills & Trusts

The Stein Law Firm can help clients create essential legal documents, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.

With the help of an experienced New York trusts and estates lawyer, you can make well-informed decisions about your family and finances and put your plans into effect quickly and efficiently.

How to choose between a revocable and irrevocable trust:

The first thing to think about is not whether to set up an irrevocable or revocable trust, but how much control you want and need over your property or assets (or both).

A revocable trust means that you can revoke and rewrite the terms of the trust as much as you want. However, irrevocable trusts have the opposite definition. You (sometimes known interchangeably as the trustor, grantor, or settlor) set up the irrevocable trust, then relinquish control to the trustee. The grantor can’t step back in and change the terms of the trust or fire the trustee without getting the approval of everyone involved, including the beneficiaries. For the most part, what’s done is done.

A revocable trust is useful for setting up plans to handle your assets and income if you become incapacitated. As soon as you pass away, a properly set up revocable trust will become an irrevocable trust, and the trustee will manage it. Thus, a revocable trust can become a partial substitute for a will. The trust makes a provision for the continued management of the assets without a formal court order. It may just take a letter from a physician to validate that you can’t handle the assets for the successor trustee to take over. It’s designed to be pretty seamless. You don’t have court interventions, and you can make quick decisions using the assets.

Irrevocable trusts are only for the very sure. The advantages of irrevocable trusts result mainly from the value of addressing special circumstances, such as guaranteeing for the continued support of a disabled dependent or ensuring the protection of assets from professional liability. Sometimes you might also turn to an irrevocable trust to effectively protect assets from creditors but only if you are thinking ahead.

Both irrevocable and revocable trusts are considered inter vivos trusts, or living trusts; testamentary trusts, on the other hand, always go into effect after the death of the trustor and are created as the result of a will. Living trusts are simply created during the lifetime of the grantor.

Other uses for trusts include uses as: generation-skipping tools (transferring wealth to your grandchildren), protecting your assets in divorce cases, and of course, the classic use of the trust fund to provide for your next of kin in a responsible way.

For additional details, visit the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils website (naepc.org).

Revocable Living Trusts

Revocable living trusts have many uses. We can help you put a plan in place for the disposition of your assets and property, with the goal of maximizing the value of the estate and reducing or eliminating taxes and expenses whenever possible.

The primary benefits of using a revocable living trust is so that probate can be avoided and you have more privacy regarding the distribution of assets.

A revocable living trust is one of the most commonly used types of trust. A revocable living trust is created and funded during the grantor’s lifetime. A grantor has the right to amend, revoke, modify, or fund the trust during his or her lifetime while he or she maintains the required testamentary capacity to do so.

Some of the provisions that may be included in a trust are how the trust assets should be managed, provisions that reflect what powers the grantor has reserved, and nomination of a trustee as well as successor trustees. There may also be provisions regarding powers of the trustee which may include distribution provisions that names the beneficiaries of the trust. Once the grantor passes away or loses the required testamentary capacity, the trust then becomes irrevocable and changes to the trust become more difficult, if at all possible.

If a grantor properly executed a trust, the trust document itself would not control any of his or her assets. Unless the assets moved into the name of the trust. This means that bank accounts are retitled using the name of the trust, as well as a new deed for the real estate to transfer it to the trust.

A trustee can oversee all of the assets. Another benefit of using a revocable trust is that any assets that have been pre-funded into a revocable living trust avoid probate. If an individual owns real estate in more than one state, then those assets could avoid probate in multiple jurisdictions. Also sometimes for individuals that have particular concerns about privacy, the provisions of a revocable living trust are often more private than the probate procedure, which can be a public process.

Why estate planning is essential what qualities to look for in an estate administrator:

Planning your estate can be a complicated and intimidating process. There are many factors to consider and often there are many options available, each with different benefits. Having an attorney help you with this process is ideal because they can assist you by taking the time to explain and make sure you fully understand each step of the process and all of the options you have available to you.

Creating a will is a key step in estate planning, which ensures assets and property are left to the chosen individuals. We can help you put a plan in place for the disposition of your assets and property, with the goal of maximizing the value of the estate and reducing or eliminating taxes and expenses whenever possible.

When you write your will with your selected trusts and estates attorney, you have the right to select anybody of your choice as your estate administrator. However a few things to take note of is that the person you select has to be either a resident or a citizen of the US. Other things you want to look for when selecting the right person to be the administrator of your estate is trustworthiness, diligence, and common sense. The most important thing is that you are able to trust your administrator as it can be a complicated process.

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