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Trusts In New York

Because every estate plan is unique, there are several trust options available under New York law. A Queens County trust attorney can assist you in setting up several trust vehicles and also help you update these trusts as your situation changes down the road.

Living trust

A revocable living trust is set up during the grantor’s lifetime — the settlor is the person who creates the trust. While you are alive, you can name yourself as the trustee. A revocable living trust may be revoked at any time during the grantor’s lifetime for almost any reason.

An irrevocable living trust is impossible to terminate and more difficult to modify. However, assets in an irrevocable trust may be shielded from certain probate taxes and other taxes.

Testamentary trust

A testamentary trust is part of your will, and your assets go into a testamentary trust when you die. It is usually a good practice to set up a separate trust for each beneficiary, including your spouse, each child and any other heirs you wish to name. A testamentary trust has several advantages, such as:

  • Assets placed in a testamentary trust are taxed differently than items in the estate itself. This technicality can result in significant tax savings in many cases.
  • Judgment creditors cannot access assets that are in a testamentary trust.
  • Distribution terms may be customized. For example, a child might receive an inheritance over time as opposed to a lump sum.

Family trust

A family trust places a family’s assets in a separate trust account. Through a family trust, the grantors progressively divest themselves of assets — so that they technically do not own these assets. A family trust may also be a consideration for when a person becomes older and more susceptible to elder abuse and fraud.

Discretionary trust

Whereas the grantor retains full control assets in the trust in most types of trusts, a discretionary trust gives the trustee either full discretion or limited discretion when carrying out the grantor’s instructions. Discretionary trusts are especially popular in testamentary trusts because a discretionary trust is more flexible.

Incentive trust

An incentive trust has conditions for which the distribution of assets is contingent on certain occasions. Common examples include graduating from college, getting married or joining the family business. The incentive trust usually contains a provision for an alternate beneficiary if the incentive is either totally unmet or not met in a timely manner.

For more information about types of trusts, the advantages of each kind of trust or for help setting up a trust, speak with an experienced estate planning attorney in Forest Hills. 

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