Wills and trusts are essential components to any comprehensive estate plan. When you hire the attorneys with the Estate Planning and Probate Group at Maya Murphy, we will assist you both in determining which types of trusts are necessary and beneficial to your estate and heirs, and in drafting those documents.
What is a will?
A will is a document that specifies how you would like your assets distributed when you pass away. Wills can be simple, straightforward documents, or much more involved and complex, but all wills do two things: they name an executor who will administer the estate, and they specify the beneficiaries to receive the assets. If you do not have a will, your assets will be distributed according to the probate laws in your state. Additionally, the distribution of your assets will probably become a much lengthier process, as the estate will have to go through the court system, referred to as Probate Court in Connecticut and Surrogate’s Court in New York.
What is a trust? What kind of trust do I need?
A trust is an agreement that allows a third party to hold and manage assets for the person who owns them. There are many different kinds of trusts that serve specific purposes for the person who creates them. Two of the most common kinds of trusts that are created as part of an estate plan are revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.
- A revocable trust can be changed at any time. It can be amended or entirely dissolved if your wishes change.
- An irrevocable trust cannot be changed. Sometimes people create revocable trusts that become irrevocable upon a specific event, such as their death.
The type of trust you decide to include in your estate plan depends on your preferences, tax implications, and other factors such as eligibility for Medicaid. An experienced wills and trusts attorney with the Estate Planning and Probate Group at Maya Murphy can help you decide if either of these is the right choice. They will also help you evaluate other options such as life insurance trusts, qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), family limited partnerships (FLPs), and special needs trusts (SNTs).
If you are ready to create a will and/or a trust, or would like assistance amending your current ones, contact us anytime. The attorneys with the Estate Planning and Probate Group at Maya Murphy analyze and evaluate the estate planning needs of each client with the care and concern they deserve. We will help you minimize estate and gift taxes while ensuring that both your personal and business affairs will be provided for in the way that you hope. We serve clients from our offices in both New York and Connecticut, including those in Manhattan, Milford, New Canaan, Yonkers, and Darien.