People may want to control the distribution of their property during their lives or after death through the use of a device known as a trust. Typically, a trust is created for the financial benefit of the person making the trust, a surviving spouse, children, or for a charitable purpose.
There are two main types of trusts to be aware of. An inter vivos trust, often referred to as a “living trust,” is a legal term for a trust established during one’s lifetime. Because an inter vivos trust takes effect prior to one’s death, it is different from a testamentary trust. Testamentary trusts are established when the grantor dies, typically as part of a will. Today, I would like to discuss a living trust in a little more detail.
New York law allows for the grantor of an inter vivos trust to pass the grantor’s assets to the grantor’s beneficiaries without probate; something disfavored by the law. As a result, this means that all the formalities required to make a living trust must be strictly followed. Meaning you must retain a skilled and experienced New York City Trusts attorney to expertly draft this instrument for you to ensure its success.
Unlike wills which can be freely revoked by the testator, a trust can be more difficult to terminate for two reasons. First, a trust is by default considered to be irrevocable. This can create problems when you have an inexperienced New York City trusts attorney draft your trust. For instance, if you wanted to retain the power to revoke your trust at any time but your attorney did not explicitly reserve that right,that trust is actually irrevocable and incredibly difficult to dissolve.
Second, to revoke a trust that is irrevocable pursuant to EPTL section 7-1.9, you must get the written consent of all beneficiaries. While this sounds plausible, a beneficiary’s consent requires capacity. And if a trust is made for an incompetent individual or for a minor, consent cannot be obtained—even through a guardian! Since trusts are typically made for both of these individuals, this is a very common problem. Moreover, if the trust is for a charitable purpose, the attorney general would be the party required to obtain consent for the revocation of the trust.
Psychologically when people here “trusts” they think of a rather large, complicated, and maybe even mysterious document. But that is not the case with an experienced New York City trusts attorney. In fact, it may be easier to execute a revocable inter vivos trust than it is to create a will in some instances.
To execute a revocable trust, the EPTL requires it be explicitly noted the trust is revocable, it is in writing, signed by a grantor of legal age (at least 18 years old), and acknowledged by a notary or signed in the presence of two witnesses. The document itself can be quite simple giving the trustee significant amounts of discretion within the parameters you set. An experienced New York City trusts attorney who has completed many trusts before will know exactly how to fit your needs into a simple-to-understand instrument at a cost-effective rate.
With over 20 years of experience, Jeffrey Weinstein is the experienced New York City trusts attorney that you need to execute an efficient and effective trust benefiting your or a loved one. Mr. Weinstein will ensure that your device is expertly crafted to carry out your true intent, to give specific directions to your trustee, and to truly assist the beneficiaries of the trust. If you, a loved one, or close friend are interesting in learning more about enacting a trust, please call Mr. Weinstein for a FREE CONSULTATION at (212) 693-3737. Make an appointment today or visit our website for more information at http://jlwlawoffices.com.