Choosing between a will and a trust

People in New York plan for many aspects of their lives. This is important to do and it should include one of the only guarantees in life which is that everyone passes away at some point in time. It may not be something that people like to think about, but as they cannot take any of their possessions with them, it is important that their possessions go to who they would like them to go to.

For most people there are two different options that they will use. They can have wills drafted or they could also create trusts. While both options can accomplish the goal, there are differences and reasons people may select one over the other.

Benefits of a will

Wills tend to be simpler documents and are usually cheaper to create than trusts. This can be beneficial for smaller estates that simply want to pass on their property to their loved ones. Younger parents can also name guardians for their children in their wills. They also can keep administrative costs lower since they cover the entire estate instead of just the property transferred to a trust and make it clear who should receive the property.

Benefits of a trust

One benefit of trusts is that the property that is transferred to the trust will not need to go through probate. The trustee can administer the trust without the supervision of the court or the need to report to the court. This also allows for more privacy. Most probate proceedings are public so avoiding it keeps the estate private. Avoiding probate also helps protect the administration of the trust from challenges from potential beneficiaries.

There are differences between trusts and wills and it is important for people in New York to understand these differences. People need to choose the option which makes the most sense given the size of their estate and their goals for the administration of the estate. Experienced attorneys understand the differences between the two and may be a useful resource.

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