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Meth Law Offices Takes the Guess Work Out of Probate and Estate Planning

ESTATE PLANNING BASICS

Estate planning creates a detailed plan for how to manage your assets while you are alive, how to manage them if you become ill or incapacitated, and how to distribute them upon your death. Everything you own, including real estate properties, investments, personal effects, and other assets and liabilities will be managed by your appointment. A well-drafted estate plan will ensure your final wishes are met and that your estate and personal items are passed to whom you want, and in the manner, you have chosen.

TRUSTS

What is a Trust?

A trust is a legal umbrella that protects and allocates your assets underneath it. Trusts offer significant legal and tax benefits that the same assets would not have outside of a trust and direct your assets to specific purposes or people.

 

 

Trust Terminology

  • grantor is the creator of the trust and is generally the owner of the assets initially contributed to the trust.

  • A trustee is the person who manages the trust. A trustee explains the terms and conditions of the trust to the beneficiary and sees that the trust is executed the way it was written.

  • A beneficiary is the person or organization that benefits from the trust.

  • A trust is a fiduciary relationship in which one party (the Grantor) gives a second party (the Trustee) the right to hold title to property or assets for the benefit of a third party (the Beneficiary).

  • The estate is comprised of the net worth of an individual, including all land and real estate, possessions, financial securities, cash, and other assets that the individual owns or has a controlling interest in.

 

Your role in the trust depends upon your goals and the type of trust you create. Meth Law Offices is skilled in determining which trust is best for your individual needs. 

Benefits of Creating a Trust

  • Controlling how and where your assets will be distributed during your and after your lifetime.

  • Avoiding the probate process, securing your assets from the government, and streamlining your wishes.

  • Protecting you and your assets while remaining in control.

  • Providing important tax benefits and protections.

Why it's Important to have a Professional Assist in Creating and Executing a Trust.

When a person dies without a last Trust or will, an administration Probate proceeding will commence in court, giving the Court authority to appoint an estate executor to settle the estate. Without a trust or will in place, assets in the estate are distributed according to intestacy laws, instead of what the person may have wanted.

Under intestate succession laws, if you die with a spouse but no children or grandchildren, your spouse inherits everything. If you die with both a spouse and descendants, the spouse inherits the first $50,000 of the intestate property, plus half of the balance, and the descendants inherit everything else. Other family members are only eligible to inherit when you do not have a spouse or descendants. 

Estate planning is essential because it ensures to the extent possible that your property is distributed as you want after your death. It can also permit you to reduce the tax burden that your family will face.

Types of Trust

 

There are several different types of trusts, depending on your needs. Meth Law Offices is prepared to help you determine which trust is best for your needs and how it needs to be created for you to get maximum benefits from the Trust.

 

WILLS

What is a Last Will?

  • A will is a legal document that describes how you would like your property and other assets to be distributed after your death.

  • An executor is the person who is responsible for carrying out the wishes and terms of the Will.

  • beneficiary is a person who is named to receive property or other benefits from a will. 

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

A will is a simple legal document that provides instructions on how to distribute property to beneficiaries after death, while a trust is a complex legal arrangement that allows one to transfer ownership of property, is managed by a third party, and is distributed to beneficiaries at any time determined by the creator.

When is a Will Executed?

When someone passes away and leaves a Last Will, it will be probated in the New York Surrogate's Court, in the county where the decedent lived, in order to have legal effect. Probate is a complex process that requires filing the original Last Will and a petition about the decedent and heirs to the court. The court will determine the validity of the Last Will, which must be properly executed. Sometimes, a family member challenges the validity of the Last Will in a proceeding known as a Will Contest. It is important to have a trust and will attorney to help navigate this process.

The Surrogate's Court will issue a decree and Letters Testimentary to the person named as Executor the the Will after any issues have been adequately addressed. Letters Testamentary provide authority for the Executor to administer the estate by identifying property, having it appraised, paying taxes and debts owed, and distributing the remaining property as directed in the Last Will.

CONTACT METH LAW OFFICES

New York attorney Michael Meth has more than 27 years of experience handling trusts and estate matters. He works diligently to find resolutions in complex situations and tailors each trust to fit the needs of his clients.

Meth Law Offices creates trust for clients in Orange, Rockland, Westchester, Dutchess, Ulster, and Suffolk Counties, as well as Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Nassau Counties. 

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