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Living Trust Lawyers in White Plains

Protecting Your Assets Now and After Death

You’ve spent years amassing assets like bank accounts, investments, and properties. But when it comes to protecting those assets, many people forget that managing their money now can lead to greater returns in the future. A living trust is an estate planning tool that may be helpful for your situation, whether you want to minimize taxes, avoid the nursing home, or leave money to a beneficiary.

Estate planning tools are all different, and some may be better suited to your circumstances than others. If you are considering creating a living trust, contacting a living trust attorney is the first step in protecting yourself and your assets. At the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, our team can review your current situation and offer legal advice before setting up a living trust on your behalf. To learn more about our services and how we can help you, contact our law office today at 914-533-1756.

What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a type of trust that allows you to manage trust assets now and after you pass away. Any assets in the living trust are “owned” by the trust itself. In some types of living trusts, you can maintain control over the assets instead of relinquishing control to a trustee. After you pass away, the assets in the trust will be distributed to the named beneficiaries you assign.

When you create a trust, you become the trust’s grantor, and you will outline your wishes for the trust in the trust documents. You will assign a trustee to manage the trust property and name beneficiaries to receive assets from the trust after you pass away. You can put almost every type of asset into a trust, including your property, bank account, and stocks. With the right kind of living trust, you can protect your home and your money while qualifying for free medical care and in-home nurses. Using a trust can keep you from moving into a nursing home and losing your autonomy and your freedom.

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

Living trusts and wills are similar, but they have some key differences that are important to understand. In a last will and testament, you can assign assets and their distribution after you die. You can also name a legal guardian for minor children or pets. The instructions in your will won’t apply until you pass away.

Any assets left in a will must go through the probate process, a court-supervised process of distribution after death. Probate is lengthy and can be expensive, delaying the distribution of assets to your family after you pass away. The main advantage of living trusts is that they help you avoid probate.

What Are the Benefits of a Living Trust?

There are many benefits to setting up a revocable or irrevocable living trust. Below are just some of the benefits you could receive by creating a living trust:

  • Protecting your assets while you are alive. Living trusts don’t just safeguard assets upon a grantor’s death. You can include instructions for your trust if you are incapacitated or fall ill.
  • Protecting your family’s privacy. The probate process is public record, meaning that all assets in a will are recorded. Because living trusts don’t go through probate, your assets will stay private information.
  • Giving you flexibility. A living trust offers control over the distribution of your assets. In some kinds of trusts, you can be your own trustee, managing your own assets and money.
  • Letting you live in your own home. If you put your home into a trust, you can stay in your home for the rest of your life. If you ever want to sell your home and move, you can do that with a trust, too.

Who Needs a Living Trust?

A living trust is an excellent estate planning tool for many. A living trust may be right for you if the following are true:

  •  You are a business owner. Including business assets in a living trust can help protect them from creditors.
  •  You want to minimize your tax liability. Trust property can potentially lower your overall estate tax value.
  • You’d like to qualify for free medical care. A trust allows you to protect your assets while still qualifying for the medical care you need.

Can an Estate Planning Attorney Help Me?

Managing your assets now helps protect you and your family’s future. A living trust may be right for you if you’d like to safeguard your money now and after you pass. At the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, a living trust lawyer on our team would be happy to help determine if a living trust is right for you. For more information, call our law firm today at 914-533-1756.