Trusts

Buffalo Trusts Lawyer

When people think about their legacies and how their assets will be distributed after death, everyone’s issues and concerns will be a little bit different. Beneficiaries can have different needs. Trusts are a way to deal with that, and they can also serve a valuable function for a client while they are still living. A Buffalo trusts lawyer from our office will offer good counsel on whether a trust is best for a client’s specific needs and how it should be set up.


DePrima Law has spent over 18 years advising clients on their trust needs and making sure the trust’s terms remain up to date. Call our office today at (716) 638-2633 to schedule a consultation with our Buffalo trusts attorney, or contact us online to set up a consultation.


 

How To Avoid Probate in New York

Setting up a trust is the best way to avoid probate in the state of New York. Contrary to popular belief, a will does not keep one’s heirs out of Probate Court. A will by itself can certainly make the probate process more manageable for the heirs, but the way to avoid it altogether is to set up a trust.

Staying out of probate means avoiding potential legal complications that might slow down the process. Does a client own property in multiple states? It’s not uncommon for people in Buffalo to have a snowbird home in a warm-weather climate. Probate must be passed through in each individual state where property is owned. In addition to time, there is legal expense associated with that.

Probate also represents an interruption in the management of income. A family-owned business not protected by a trust can still be passed down as intended through a will, but probate can impose a brief interruption. The same goes for the management of other assets. With a trust, the transition of assets from the deceased to the heir can be accomplished much more seamlessly.

Finally, Probate is a public process. The value of assets that go through it is listed for public consumption. Privacy is valuable under any circumstances. It can be even more so when a client wants to prevent the entire world from knowing that a particular person has come into a sum of money. Trusts protect the privacy of clients and their heirs.

How Do Trusts Work?

How each trust works depends on the purpose for which it was set up and how it is funded. At the most basic level, there is a testamentary trust. This is when the client sets up the trust in conjunction to when the will is established. A Buffalo trusts lawyer then writes the will so that all assets pass into the trust immediately upon death, therefore bypassing probate court. This works well for clients who need all their assets for the balance of their life, while still allowing their heirs to benefit from using a trust.

Clients can also fund the trust–partially or fully–while still alive. Depending on the circumstances, this can create a favorable tax situation. Furthermore, putting assets in a trust offers protection against liability. If someone is sued, the assets in the trust can be made safe from seizure in a legal dispute.

The same liability protection can be passed onto one’s heirs. Perhaps one is concerned about an adult child’s vulnerability to legal action. This can be anything from a civil lawsuit to a business dispute to a divorce. In divorce proceedings, money kept for an heir in a trust might be considered separate property and not subject to property division.

A trust can be set up to disperse immediately upon the death of the grantor (the client who establishes and funds the trust) or it might be structured to pay out over time. Reasons for this–in addition to liability protection for heirs–can range from protecting them from the pitfalls of managing a large lump sum to helping an adult child with disabilities manage their finances. The grantor picks a third party–a trustee–to manage the trust and distribute its assets.

A trust is something that ought to be continually revisited. Life changes and that means assets can come and go. The structure of the trust and what’s in it can be adjusted. The potential needs of beneficiaries change and the long-term concerns a client has can evolve.

At DePrima Law, we pride ourselves on seeing trust planning as a journey, not a one-off task to be completed and checked off the list. We want to get to know our clients and understand their hopes and concerns for the future. We want to stay connected with them and make sure their trusts are up to date.


We’ve spent over 18 years serving the people of Buffalo. We know how to listen, and we know what questions to ask. To schedule a consultation with our Buffalo trusts attorney, call (716) 638-2633 or contact us online.


 

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