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How trusts fit into an estate plan

There are many ways that New Yorkers can create a proper estate plan. One effective tool is the revocable trust. This type of document can live on until it has fulfilled the wishes of the deceased. If the deceased was also the trustee, it will be necessary to name a successor trustee to carry out its instructions after the grantor passes.

A key benefit of the revocable trust is avoiding probate. If an estate owner had property in multiple states, it could be necessary to go through probate in each of those states. With a trust, however, there is no need to do so as the trust owns the property and does not die. Another key benefit of a trust is the fact that an estate can be settled away from the public eye.

The details of a trust won't be published in a local paper or otherwise be made available to the media or other interested parties. After a person passes, a trust can accept and distribute assets according to that individual's instructions. When done properly, an estate owner may provide for multiple generations of family members to come. Furthermore, a properly crafted trust can provide protection from creditors. This may allow a beneficiary to access to his or her full inheritance.

Wills and trusts may allow estate owners greater control over what happens to their possessions while they are alive and after they die. In many cases, an individual can be a beneficiary and trustee of such a document. An attorney may review the types of trusts that can be created and how they may meet a person's needs now and in the future. Legal counsel could also explain the process of transferring assets into the trust itself.

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