Can Your House be Saved with a Trust?

Elder Law Lawyer Assisting Long Island Residents and Families with Trusts and Will Planning

estate planning and trustsNo one enjoys thinking about the end of his or her life. But, doing so could protect your biggest investments – including your family home. After all, you do not want loved ones having to guess what you want to do with your estate, or forcing the courts to have to decide on your behalf.

For these reasons, you might consider a living trust for your family home. A living trust is a legal document that takes your assets and places them into a trust for your benefit. You are named the trustee of the trust, and as long as you are alive, you remain the administrator. Upon your death, however, the assets are transferred to the successor trustee whom you name.

How a Living Trust Differs from a Last Will and Testament

Your living trust and will are two separate documents. Both protect your assets, but a will is designed to distribute possessions after death. If you have a last will, your estate goes through probate court, which is where the courts supervise the distribution and closing out of your estate. An executor is appointed in your last will to handle the distribution and pay all last remaining debts. Then, the remainder of your estate is given to beneficiaries based on the allocations you provide in your will. Probate can take as long as one year to complete, especially if there are issues. Probate also costs your estate and beneficiaries money.

A Living Trust Prevents Probate

Instead of forcing your grieving loved ones to endure the lengthy and time-consuming process of probate court, you can place your estate into a trust. The trust completes all the work for your family, and anything placed in the trust can be distributed to beneficiaries within just a few weeks. Also, your living trust is private, so it will not become public record.

Is a Living Trust Right for You?

If you have several assets, placing them in a living trust is ideal. A home is typically the largest asset for the average consumer, and if you have vacation properties, those can be protected with a living trust too.

While you might place assets in a trust, you will also need a last will. The will designates who receives personal possessions, while the trust handles your bigger assets. To put your family home into the living trust, you should have an elder law attorney draft a trust agreement and put the home’s deed to the trust instead of to you directly. If you have a mortgage, you can still put your home into your trust. However, you must notify the lender that the home is moving to the trust to avoid any confusion. Naturally, the mortgage is paid in full before the rest of the home can be distributed through the trust.

Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney in Long Island, NY Today

If you are interested in placing your family home and other possessions into a living trust, schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin. You can reach us directly at 516-605-0625 or connect with us online.

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