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WILLS & TRUSTS ATTORNEY IN ROCHESTER NY

PLANNING WITH WILLS

A Will is presumptive evidence of your wishes after your death. A properly executed Will streamlines the transfer of your assets by specifying beneficiaries, nominating an Executor to oversee your estate administration, and addressing potential family and tax issues.

Having a Will to address the custody and financial security of minor children is especially important. Absent specific planning, assets might not be readily available to assist a minor child or might pass to that child as soon as they become a legal adult at age 18.

When someone dies without a Will, their heirs have no direction. In those cases, state law dictates who can act as Executor and who will receive shares of your estate. This process can often become complicated if family members are in conflict, and incur substantial expense due to litigation.

PLANNING WITH TRUSTS

Trusts are increasingly common in today’s estate planning world. Living Trusts are trusts created while you are living and funded during your lifetime; Testamentary Trusts are trusts that are created by your Will after your death and may be funded in a variety of ways. Whether a trust is a Living Trust or a Testamentary Trust, it can fulfill a variety of purposes including: estate tax reduction, asset management, asset protection for inheriting individuals, providing for second spouses while preserving assets for the children of the first marriage, providing for individuals with special needs (and enabling them to have supplemental funds to add to their lives, without reducing government benefits), probate avoidance, reduction of administration costs of estates, generational purposes, and a variety of specific other purposes.

Trusts offer many advantages over outright ownership by your heirs, and we would be honored to explore these advantages and your particular needs with you.

WILLS & TRUSTS FAQ

Is it better to have a will or a trust?
A Will is a complement to a trust. They work hand in hand.

What are the disadvantages of a trust?
Trust planning is typically more complex and therefore expensive than simple planning.

What are the advantages of a trust over a will?
There are many different types of trusts. Some protect assets while you are alive. Some protect assets in case you get ill. Some protect assets for minors or disabled individuals, and some trusts are used for income or estate tax issues. This is a broad topic that must be discussed on a case-by-case basis with an attorney.

How much does it cost for a living trust?
This varies based on the attorney drafting the trust. Most clients prefer an attorney who provides a flat-fee quote for the entire project as opposed to open-ended hourly billing.

Are trusts a good idea?
If you fit into one of the situations where a trust can benefit you, you should be able to make this decision based on a cost-benefit analysis after speaking with a qualified attorney who focuses his or her practice on trusts and estates.

What should you not put in a will?
Naming “my estate” the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan like an IRA or 401(k) can have disastrous income tax consequences.

Should I have a will or trust?
Anyone who owns anything should have a Will to dispose of their assets. Sometimes, a trust can work hand-in-hand with their Will to make the disposition more efficient.

What is trust under a will?
A trust under a Will is only created if certain circumstances are met. Think of the Will as a blueprint that constructs the trust only if necessary.

Can you have both a will and a living trust?
Not only can you have both a will and a living trust, but it is bad practice to have a living trust without an accompanying pourover Will.

Do I need a will or trust?
The answer to this depends on your individual circumstances. You should be able to make this decision after speaking with a qualified trusts and estates attorney who provides you with a flat-fee quote during your initial consultation so that you can decide after a cost-benefit analysis.

Does a will override a trust?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. This all depends on how the documents were drafted and how your assets pass upon death.

Do you need a will if you have a trust?
Absolutely. A trust only covers assets that are owned by the trust.

What happens when a person died without a will or trust?
The laws of the state in which the person died control the disposition of their assets absent any estate planning documents.

Who needs a will and trust?
Anyone who owns any assets should have a Will and potentially a trust.

Does a will supersede a trust?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. This all depends on how the documents were drafted and how your assets pass upon death.

Will trust drafting software?
A Will and a trust are complex legal documents. Even if the wording is technically correct, downloading estate planning software and executing the documents without the supervision of an attorney who focuses his or her practice on trusts and estates frequently leads to unintended, and often disastrous (and expensive) consequences.

What is better a will or a trust?
The answer to this depends on your specific individual circumstances. You should be able to make this decision after speaking with a qualified trusts and estates attorney who provides you with a flat-fee quote during your initial consultation so that you can decide after a cost-benefit analysis.

Which is better a will or a trust?
The answer to this depends on your specific individual circumstances. You should be able to make this decision after speaking with a qualified trusts and estates attorney who provides you with a flat-fee quote during your initial consultation so that you can decide after a cost-benefit analysis.

How to prepare my own living trust and will?
A Will and a trust are complex legal documents. Even if the wording is technically correct, preparing and executing the documents without the supervision of an attorney who focuses his or her practice on trusts and estates frequently leads to unintended, and often disastrous (and expensive) consequences. You wouldn’t perform your own open-heart surgery, would you?

How to legally review and revise and change one's living will and trust?
The best practice is to consult an attorney who focuses his or her practice in trusts and estates to review your existing documents, provide a recommendation, and give you a flat-fee quote for the project (as opposed to open ended hourly billing).

How do wills and trusts work together?
Assets not owned by a trust are controlled by the Will.
I am grateful for the respect you have given me as a professional.

- David G.

RICHARD A. KROLL
ATTORNEY

Richard A. Kroll, Esq. has an active practice in the area of Estate Planning, Trusts, and Probate. He is a member of the...

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CAROLYN A. REARDON
ATTORNEY

Private practice in Rochester, New York with the Kroll Law Firm since 2007, a group practice in Brighton, New York with emphasis on...

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MARCUS W. KROLL
ATTORNEY

Marcus's practice involves estate planning for all families, including LGBT couples, second marriages, and families who have members with...

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