When protecting your family’s future, a will may not be the correct choice. That’s why many families in New York and Connecticut have trusts as part of their estate plans. These can be powerful tools for preserving assets and wealth while utilizing tax-saving strategies and assisting to avoid family conflicts and legal challenges to your estate plan.

Trusts are also part of a well-rounded strategy we at Amoruso & Amoruso LLP call comprehensive estate planning. This innovative approach brings a proactive approach to fulfilling your wishes in life and death while minimizing potential burdens on your loved ones. A trust is one of the key components in a comprehensive estate plan, along with custom-made elements concerning tax law, elder law, asset protection, and long-term care matters.

Are you ready to learn more about trusts and how they may work for your particular situation? Then turn to an experienced New York trusts lawyer from Amoruso & Amoruso LLP. With nearly six decades of combined legal experience, firm partners Michael Amoruso and Sreelekha Chakrabarty Amoruso are leaders in estate planning throughout New York and Connecticut. We take time to consider every aspect of your life to develop a personalized strategy that serves your needs and goals for the future.

Contact us today to see whether a trust would be suitable for your estate planning needs and goals.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal contract under which a person, called a grantor, gives another party, called a trustee, the fiduciary responsibility to hold and administer property for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. Depending on the type and purpose of the trust created, the beneficiary can be the grantor or other parties.

The trustee manages the assets in the trust, including any income generated by those assets. The trustee pays out trust income and principal to the trust’s beneficiaries according to the trust document’s terms, which may give the trustee broad discretion to determine payouts.

What Are the Benefits of Creating a Trust in New York?

Many families use trusts as part of their estate plan due to the various benefits trusts provide. Some of the top benefits of creating a trust include the following:

  • Trusts enable families to manage their wealth privately rather than through the public court probate process.
  • Trusts help prevent probate in multiple states when an individual owns property in more than one State.
  • Trusts allow you to control how your wealth will pass to others.
  • Trusts can help families minimize tax liabilities, including estate and inheritance taxes.
  • Families can use trusts to help financially distressed or special needs family members manage their finances.
  • Trusts can help families smooth over challenging family dynamics such as divorced or blended families.
  • Trusts can protect your family’s assets from poor financial choices or creditors.
  • Trusts can provide a level of privacy that a will cannot since it is a public filing.

What’s the Difference Between a Trust and a Will?

Trusts often make up one part of a person’s or family’s estate plan, working in conjunction with wills. However, trusts and wills serve different purposes.

The primary difference between a will and a trust is that a will must be probated in court to take effect, while a trust that is funded with assets takes effect upon signing without court intervention. Similarly, a will only nominates a person to manage their estate after their death and to direct the distribution of property they own at their death. Conversely, people can use trusts to manage their assets during or after their lives.

Does a Trust Help Me Avoid Probate in New York?

Many individuals and families use trusts as part of their estate plan to pass on assets and wealth to loved ones and future generations while avoiding the time and expense of probate. While property passed via a will must go through the court probate process, any assets or income in a trust do not need to go through probate.