By now, you have likely heard us talk on Life Happens Radio about those essential estate planning documents: Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Disposition of Remains Appointment and Will.
On this episode, we do a deep dive into a more advanced option for estate planning: a trust. Attorneys Lou Pierro and Rebecca Cerny share key aspects to consider when deciding if a trust is right for you.
A significant trust advantage is avoiding the time and cost of probate. Probate in New York can get very costly and takes over seven months to complete. Establishing a trust also preserves assets and expedites the wishes of your loved one. Many kinds of trusts exist, so Lou and Rebecca run down the two main options - irrevocable (cannot be changed) and revocable (can be changed).
Another benefit of a trust is privacy. Probate is a public process, so anyone could see your last wishes and details of your finances. If you are considering giving different percentages of your assets to each of your children, you can avoid conflict by creating a trust, which would keep that information private.
The need for ongoing financial support to a loved one is another reason someone should have a trust. If you have a child or sibling with special needs, a trust can manage financial support after your passing, finance everyday needs, and facilitate eligibility for government support.