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Trusts Lawyer in White Plains

Helping Protect and Manage Your Assets

As you create your estate plan to protect your assets and plan ahead for the future, you may consider creating a trust. Trusts are an excellent way to maintain control of your money while also qualifying for free medical care and allocating assets to family members. Because there are so many types of trusts to choose from, meeting with a trusts lawyer before setting one up is essential.

As your legal team, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, will meet with you to discuss your goals and your current circumstances. We can then make a recommendation based on those goals and your current strategy. It is never too early to create an asset protection trust, whether you are just a few years away from retirement or you’ve just obtained your first significant asset.

If you are interested in creating a trust, contact our law firm today. We can answer any questions you may have as well as give you a personalized consultation. For more information and to speak to an experienced member of our team, call our office at 914-533-1756.

What is a Trust?

A trust is a financial agreement that allows a third party, also called a trustee, to hold and manage assets on behalf of your beneficiaries. Your specific trust will outline which beneficiaries receive these benefits and at what time.

Unlike a will, assets in a trust do not go through the probate process, saving your family members time and money after you pass. Similarly, assets in certain kinds of trusts are not counted toward your overall estate value, meaning a trust can potentially lower your tax liability. A properly created trust can even help you maintain control over your assets while qualifying for in-home medical care, saving you from having to go to a nursing home.

What Are the Main Types of Trusts?

There are many different types of trusts you can create with help from our team. Some types of trusts may be more beneficial to you than others, so it is essential to understand the differences between them.

Below are the main types of trusts:

  • Family asset protection trust: Allows you to receive income on your assets inside the trust. You can access the bulk of the money inside the trust by writing checks to your beneficiaries at any time.
  • Marital trust: Provides benefits to a surviving spouse. It is generally included in the taxable estate of the surviving spouse.
  • Bypass trust: Also called a credit shelter trust, it is established to bypass the surviving spouse’s estate while still allowing them to receive benefits.
  • Testamentary trust: A trust created through the will after death. Funds are subject to probate and transfer taxes.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT): Excludes life insurance proceeds from the taxable estate while providing liquidity to the trust’s beneficiaries.
  • Charitable trusts: Allows certain benefits to be split between charities and your beneficiaries.
  • Special needs trust: Allocates money and assets to disabled individuals while allowing them to remain eligible for government benefits.
  • Generation-skipping trust: Permits assets to be given to grandchildren or later generations without being subject to a generation-skipping tax or estate taxes
  • Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust: Provides income for a surviving spouse and is often used in second marriage situations.
  •  Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT): Funded by gifts from the grantor and designed to shift quickly appreciating assets to the next generation.

What’s the Difference Between a Revocable and Irrevocable Trust?

One major distinction between every type of trust is whether they are revocable or irrevocable. Both kinds of trusts have benefits, and our team can help you choose between them.
Below are the main differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts:

Revocable Trust

Revocable trusts avoid probate while allowing you to maintain control of the assets within them while you are still alive. You can dissolve or modify a revocable trust at any time. Revocable trusts are typically treated like any other asset, so they will likely still be subject to taxes.
If you become incapacitated or pass away, you can set terms in the trust documents for what happens to the assets in the trust.

Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust transfers its assets out of your estate. Irrevocable trusts are often immune to estate taxes and probate, but they cannot be changed by the grantor. Once you establish an irrevocable trust, you are no longer in control of its assets, and you cannot change its terms or dissolve the trust, even if your circumstances change.
An irrevocable trust is often recommended if your primary goal is to reduce your tax liability.

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

Trusts and wills have some overlapping features, but they are two different documents. A will lists your final wishes and how you’d like your assets to be distributed after death. A will always goes through the probate process in court, which can delay your assets from being distributed in a timely manner.

A trust manages and controls your money while you are still alive. You can add instructions for how assets in a trust are to be managed if you pass away, but the primary purpose of a trust is to lower your tax liability and distribute money to beneficiaries. The assets in a trust typically do not go through probate, which can save your family members time and money.

How Can a Trusts Attorney Help Me?

Creating a trust is an excellent way to manage your money using an estate planning tool. If you have assets you would like to keep out of probate court or you simply want to reduce your tax liability, our team can help you.

Contact the Law Offices of Patricia G. Micek PLLC, today by calling 914-533-1756 to learn more about trusts and whether they are right for your estate plan.