Investors and others with many assets who are creating an estate plan may need to use trusts to protect those assets. This can be important because without effective estate planning, as much as half of an estate's value may be lost to taxes when assets pass to beneficiaries.
A New York resident who is appointed trustee of an irrevocable life insurance trust has a number of duties and responsibilities. Above all, a trustee has a fiduciary duty, and this means there is a legal obligation to administer the trust competently for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trustee must also manage trust investments. This may involve assistance from life insurance producers or from companies that review policies' performances. Other duties including safeguarding original policies, confirming that the ILIT is the policy owner and beneficiary, and making sure communications with insurance companies go to the trustee.
New York residents should know that probate is a legal process that requires careful attention to detail as well as a strong knowledge of the correct legal documents that have to be filed. When individuals attempt to complete a probate on their own, they may inadvertently make a mistake that can cause a number of costly and time-consuming issues.
New York residents who are preparing their estate plan may wonder what the difference is between a joint tenancy with survivorship versus a tenancy in common. One of the major differences has to do with the concept of survivorship.
New York residents may wonder why some family fortunes seem to endure for decades or even centuries while others peter out after only one or two generations. Such fortunes are often amassed by a towering central figure like Cornelius Vanderbilt or John D. Rockefeller, and the estate plans that these individuals put into place often determined how long their wealth would last.
Some New York residents decide to create a 'generation-skipping trust" as part of their estate plan. A generation-skipping trust is an estate planning tool that allows a grantor to transfer certain financial assets or property to their grandchildren instead of their children.
Individuals in New York who are appointed the executor of a friend or family member's will may wonder what the role involves. An executor has a number of duties around inventorying and distributing assets and paying off debts.