As a trust and estates attorney, one of the most frequently asked questions I receive is whether a revocable living trust is necessary for an individual’s estate planning. In New York City, the answer is often yes, and there are several reasons why working with an experienced attorney is crucial for the creation and management of a revocable living trust. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of a revocable living trust, how New York City’s Estate, Powers, and Trusts Laws (EPTL) govern these trusts, and the range of attorney fees you can expect to pay for this service.
- Protecting Your Assets and Beneficiaries
A revocable living trust is a legal document that outlines how your assets will be managed during your lifetime and distributed upon your death. It provides you with the flexibility to make changes or even revoke the trust entirely during your life. One of the primary benefits of a revocable living trust is that it can help you avoid the often lengthy and expensive probate process. In New York, the probate process is governed by the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA), which can be complex and time-consuming. By setting up a revocable living trust, you can ensure that your assets are distributed to your beneficiaries efficiently and without the need for court intervention.
- Navigating New York’s Estate, Powers, and Trusts Laws
New York has specific laws governing the creation and administration of revocable living trusts. These laws are found in the EPTL, specifically in Article 7, which covers trust administration. Sections 7-1.17 and 7-1.18 of the EPTL address the requirements for creating a valid revocable living trust and the powers and duties of the trustee, respectively. The intricacies of these laws can be challenging to navigate without the guidance of an experienced attorney. By working with a skilled trust and estates attorney, you can ensure that your trust is set up and administered correctly, providing you with peace of mind that your assets are protected and your loved ones are cared for.
- Ensuring Proper Trust Funding
Another critical aspect of a revocable living trust is funding the trust with your assets. This process involves transferring ownership of assets such as real estate, bank accounts, and investment accounts to the trust. The proper funding of a trust is essential to avoid probate and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. An experienced attorney can provide guidance on which assets should be transferred to the trust and ensure that the transfer is done correctly.
- Attorney Fees for Revocable Living Trusts
The fees for creating a revocable living trust in New York City can vary depending on the complexity of your estate and the attorney you choose. Generally, you can expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,000 for a straightforward trust, with more complex trusts potentially costing upwards of $10,000. The attorney’s fees typically include drafting the trust document, assisting with the transfer of assets, and providing guidance on trust administration.
In conclusion, a revocable living trust is an essential estate planning tool for many individuals in New York City. By working with an experienced trust and estates attorney, you can ensure that your trust is set up and administered according to New York’s EPTL, providing you with peace of mind that your assets are protected and your loved ones are cared for. While attorney fees can vary, the investment in a properly drafted and funded revocable living trust can save you and your beneficiaries significant time and money in the long run by avoiding the probate process. Please feel free to contact Burrell Law if you have any questions.