Will or Trust?

Will or Trust?
If my mother already has a ”living will” in place with all her wishes medically and financially down……Is it necessary to create a ”living trust” to avoid probate?
Is the cost of creating a living trust worth the probate savings?

3 thoughts on “Will or Trust?

  1. Re: Will or Trust?
    A “living will” and a “living trust” are two completely different documents. A “living will” is document that expresses an individual’s decision on the use of artificial life support systems. A “living trust” creates a trust during an individual’s lifetime into which property is placed with instructions for its management and distribution upon disability or death. Your mother would be wise to discuss the pros and cons of creating a “living trust” with an experienced attorney before making a decision.

    Rudolf Karvay
    Berkman, Henoch, Peterson, Peddy & Fenchel, P.C.
    100 Garden City Plaza, 3rd Floor
    Garden City, NY 11530

  2. Re: Will or Trust?
    I agree with Rudolf on the difference between a Living Will and a Living Trust. Avoidance of probate costs, which are usually based upon size of the estate (so it can be expensive) is just one reason to consider a Living Trust. There may be special things Mom wants to do, or things she might want to say, that she does not want in a document that could become public (a Will), and a LT is a private document. Also, should she become incapacitated, a LT provides a smooth transition for access to and administration of her assets, possibly avoiding Court costs. Plus, if her estate is large enough to be subject to potential estate or inheritance taxes, they mau be avoided or reduced by using a properly drawn LT. There also may be income tax benefits available also. I have done these for over 40 years, so if you need more information or assistance, contact me directly.

    Walter LeVine
    Walter D. LeVine, P. A.
    23 Vreeland Road #102
    Florham Park, NJ 07932

  3. Re: Will or Trust?
    Living Will relates to medical decisions. It has nothing to do with distribution of property after death.

    Whether or not the cost of a revocable living trust versus the cost of a will and the expense of probate is a decision each individual must make.

    A will costs very little initially but a lot after death. In addition, the documents involved in probating an estate are a matter of public record.

    A revocable living trust costs at least $1,000 or more initially but almost nothing after death. Assets held in the trust can be transferred by the Successor Trustee, (generally a beneficiary) without cost and without supervision by the Court.

    Feel free to contact me for more information and a free initial consultation.

    This post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is a comment on the legal question posed by the poster and should not be relied upon in any way. All readers are advised to consult an attorney to address their specific legal concerns. Additional facts could affect the answer given.

    Arnold Nager
    Arnold H. Nager, Esquire
    79 Cliff Street
    Hastings On Hudson, NY 10706-2101

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