Rochester Wills & Trusts Attorney Helps You Leave a Lasting Legacy
Compassionate New York lawyer provides effective tools for passing on inheritances
Most people have families they wish to provide for after their death and some might have other beneficiaries in mind, such as charitable organizations. In either case, you can benefit from targeted estate planning tools like wills and trusts. If you live in northwestern New York, the Law Office of Maurice J. Verrillo, P.C., in Rochester, can help. Our deep Christian faith commits us to helping give individuals the peace of mind that comes with knowing their families will be taken care of after they are gone.
Why is a will important?
A will is an essential estate planning tool for directing how your property will be distributed after death. If you die without a will in New York, your property will be distributed according to the law of intestate succession, which specifies which of your relatives inherit your property and how much each of them gets. If you have any different ideas about who should get your property and in what proportions, or you want certain people to get certain items, then you need to have a valid will. If you want to name an executor to administer your estate or you have other specific estate planning goals, a will allows you give legally binding instructions. Our experienced, efficient estate planning attorneys can prepare a will that is designed to implement your objectives to the full extent permitted by law and that will pass muster with the probate court.
What is a trust?
A trust is a legal mechanism by which one person — the trustee — manages property, for the benefit of another. Like a will, a trust gives its creator — known as the settlor — the power to control the management and distribution of property. There are types of trusts, each suiting different purposes
A revocable trust — also known as a living trust — can be modified or terminated by the settlor after it is created. You can serve as the trustee during your lifetime and designate a successor trustee to take over upon your death. This allows your named beneficiaries to receive property without going through the probate process. However, because you still control it, its assets can be taken by your creditors.
An irrevocable trust, by contrast, can’t be terminated once it is created, but it can be used to protect its assets from creditors and even some taxes. This makes it especially important to protect beneficiaries who are spendthrifts or can’t manage their own affairs. Irrevocable trusts include:
- Fixed trusts — Disbursements to beneficiaries of this type of trust are made on a set schedule or under set conditions.
- Discretionary trusts —The trustee is given the power to decide when and how much to distribute to beneficiaries. This flexibility allows the trustee to adjust to unexpected financial problems that may deplete trust assets or that require more generous distributions.
- Testamentary trusts — You can also create a trust in your will for various purposes, such as to give to a charity or to provide an income for a child or person with special needs.
Because they can be designed to bypass the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive, trusts are a useful method of estate planning. We can counsel you on whether they are right for you and can create the right kind of trust to address your needs and objectives.
Contact a Rochester wills and trusts attorney for a free consultation
For help drafting a will or creating a trust, contact the Law Office of Maurice J. Verillo, P.C. in Rochester, New York. We are a family-focused, Christian law firm committed to advancing our clients’ best interests. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 585-563-1134 or contact us online.