Have you ever wondered what will happen to your estate after you die? If so, then this blog post is for you. Many people put off creating a will or a living trust because they don’t want to think about their own death. The majority of Americans die without a plan and that can complicate things for their heirs who inherit property. We’re going to go over some estate law basics and talk about how the distribution of your assets could affect your spouse and children. You might even find that a living trust can help protect your loved ones and promote your values that are most important to you after your passing.
What is an Estate?
The estate of a person is the total of their assets. Assets can include money, your house, vehicles and other personal property which have value. After death an executor or successor trustee will distribute the estate according to the wishes listed in what’s known as a ‘will’ or “living trust”
How is an Estate Distributed?
When a person dies without creating a living trust or a valid will, the deceased’s property or estate is distributed according to New York intestacy laws. If you die without preparing an estate plan, your assets could end up being distributed in ways that are completely different from what you would have wanted. For this reason, it’s crucial to prepare an estate plan before passing away.
Estate Plan Options
A living trust is a valuable planning document for any person with assets including real estate, retirement accounts, insurance and savings. It provides an easy way to distribute these items at time of death by naming specific individuals as well as charities so there’s no confusion regarding distribution methods. It is a great way to ensure that everyone has clear guidance on how the assets are to be distributed and allow you to provide protections for your beneficiaries. This lowers the amount of uncertainty and worry for both you and your family.
A living trusts can also help you avoid probate saving your family time and money. A living trust keeps families from having to pay fees associated with the probate process because it acts as an alternative method for transferring property when someone dies so there’s no requirement to create public records such as court documents.
A will names an executor who will carry out the terms of the will after someone dies while a living trust allows control over assets until death and can avoid probate altogether. A will becomes public record when it is probated after someone dies and allows for family members to contest the will if they do not agree on how your estate should be distributed.
Wills are easy for everyone to get access to when needed because they are public record that anyone may look at once filed with the court upon death. This means that if a family member learns about your plans for distribution after death, they may be able to file a contest to the will.
You don’t want to die before you have a chance to create your estate plan. A living trust is often needed, and can save time and money when it comes to probate administration after death. If you are unsure if the current plan that has been set up will protect your inheritance, we encourage you contact our office today. Give us a call at 607-962-6162 for more information on how we can help!