Testamentary Trusts: The Good and the Bad

A testamentary trust is not applicable until (1) you pass away, (2) your will is successfully admitted to probate, and (3) the trustee establishes a trust account with funds delivered by the will’s executor. But what kind of property should you have distributed via these trusts? The advice of many estate planning attorneys is to transfer as little as possible by will: Probate requires: a good deal of paperwork notice to a potentially large number of familial and beneficial parties, a court clerk approval of submission of the will, the court’s over-all approval, etc. Probate also has a sliding scale for court filing fees, is a public affair, and takes a good deal of time to administer. Meanwhile, transferring property

Read More

Burial Instructions in Your Will? Don’t Bother

Many people have an idea how they want their remains handled upon their passing, and want to ensure this method is respected. And unless you are like Vladimir Lenin and want the public to view your corpse in perpetuity (though I am not entirely sure he actually wanted this), when you pass away you generally want your remains to be dealt with relatively quickly. In the past people included their desires in their Wills, not knowing where else to state them. A Will has to be accepted by the Surrogate’s Court under the Probate process: (1) This requires an original Death Certificate which you usually get from a funeral home (but remember, the undertaker doesn’t know how to handle your

Read More

How to (and Should I?) Place My Cooperative Apartment in a Trust

Buying (and living in) a Coop can be a pain: Coop Boards dictate whether you can have pets, children tenants, hard wood floors, and when you pay increased maintenance and “special assessments.” They also decide whether or not you can place your Coop “In Trust,” thereby avoiding it passing through Probate via your Will when you pass away. First, the Coop’s legal counsel will want to review your Trust, often for about the cost you paid to draft it. They may require modifications and ask your beneficiaries to assume any future liabilities that may be assessed. You will then need to transfer the Coop shares for an additional cost, and produce your original Shares Certificate and Proprietary Lease (or otherwise

Read More

DISCLAIMER: Attorney Advertising. Please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter.