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Leaders in Domestic & International Estate Planning.
Our Firm is a leader in Estate Planning in Brooklyn. We offer a variety of services to our clients: we draft Wills, Trusts, Medicaid (or Special Needs Trusts) and a variety of other estate planning vehicles that are valuable and useful to our estate planning Brooklyn clients.
BEST ESTATE PLANNING LAWYER IN BROOKLYN
Our firm provides full estate planning service to Brooklyn families and businesses by focusing 100% of our practice on trusts, estates and administration law.
We offer drafting of Wills, Trusts, simple and complex estate plans, business infrastructure plans, business succession plans and we keep you informed with respect to your estate planning choices and options in Brooklyn.
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Revocable Trust Long Island Services: When Success Depends Entirely On Choosing the Best Course
Fact: A good lawyer can help you come up with the best trust in a matter of days, but the trust will last a lifetime and beyond.
At our firm, we don’t measure our success through comparison, but by the standards we create. We know that the legal landscape keeps on changing, and we are leading the way with cutting edge and innovation. In times when many forms have struggled or have been forced to scale back, we have seen record growth.
Our dedication to clients has also made a huge difference. We understand that over the years, the needs of clients and families have changed. We try to stay ahead of the change with a sharp focus on emerging trends. Importantly, we seek out new ways to add some value by understanding your needs and ambitions.
What is a Revocable Living Trust (RLT)?
This is a living trust that can be amended during its lifetime by the grantor. The aim of using a revocable living trust (RLT) is to avoid probate and to protect the privacy of the grantor and the beneficiaries as well as to minimize estate taxes.
Before you come up with the trust, we need you to ask yourself a few questions and answer them.
Whom Do You Trust?
When it comes to a (RLT), you need to have a person that you trust to handle it. The trustee’s task is to make sure the instructions in the trust document are followed to the latter. He has to manage the funds in the trust on behalf of the beneficiaries. However, the trust documents dictate the kinds of powers that the trustee has during the period the trust is operational.
The trustee better be someone that you can trust with your assets. As revocable trust Long Island lawyers, we have seen many people that have ended up losing their funds to scrupulous trustees – we don’t want you to experience the same.
After all, you are counting on the trustee to do a good job and make sure your assets are distributed the way they need. A sloppy job would mean that someone will get less or more than they deserve, which is not good for the beneficiaries.
Initially, when you are still alive, you are the trustee of the (RLT), but when you become incapacitated and pass away, you need to have someone to handle the trust for you.
When it comes to choosing the trustee in Long Island, you have two options to use. You can either go for a live person, and the other option is to use a corporate trustee – a business entity with the authority to serve as your trustee. Every choice has its own merits and demerits that we shall explain to you.
If you choose a real person, they will most likely understand what you are going through, and they will also understand your objectives. Real people are also known to your beneficiaries and will be personally committed to acting in the best interest of the beneficiaries.
The major demerit is that many individuals lack the technical skills and the experience of being a trustee. Well, a professional revocable trust lawyer can guide the trustee regarding their duties.
The law in Long Island allows you to choose a competent adult that resides in the borough to act as a trustee to the trust. However, you can also use a trustee who resides outside the state to act as the trustee, but only if it is related to you by blood or marriage.
Corporate trustees work professionally to manage the trust on your behalf. Major companies that handle this service include banks and brokerage firms, or a specialized trust company. The company you choose need to have the legal authority to provide these services to be a trustee in Long Island.
The best time you need to use a corporate trustee is to foresee disputes or difficulties among the beneficiaries. There are a few downsides to this kind of trustee. First, they are only in the business to make money. They aren’t compassionate and sensitive to your needs at all. Secondly, these trustees charge higher fees than a person charges.
You need to look at these two aspects of trusts before you decide on which trustee to choose. A good revocable trust Long Island lawyer will take time to evaluate the options for you and help you pick the best one for the situation.
The good thing is that you don’t have to choose just a single trustee. Instead, you can have two or more trustees to serve at the same time as co-trustees. These co-trustees can be individuals, corporates, or a combination of both. Pairing up the two types is a good way to enjoy the strengths of each option that you have.
However, be sure you have a good reason to have more than one trustee, though. Just naming two of your kids as trustees just because you are scared of hurting one’s feelings isn’t a great idea. Doing this can cause a lot of friction and make the estate harder to administer.
We have seen families on the dysfunctional side, which has made it hard to get a trustee to manage the estate. In such a situation, it is better to have an independent trustee that you can work with, instead of forcing the kids to work when they don’t understand each other.
If you wish to be creative, you can assign the different roles to each trustee. We have handled so many issues with trustees that we can assist you in assigning the roles.
Before you choose a trustee, make sure you know how long the trust will last after you are long gone. If it will wrap up fast and then the assets are distributed immediately, then you don’t need to have co-trustees to delegate the tasks to them.
If your trust will last many years, it is prudent that you choose the roles for trustees carefully considering the issues that might arise along the way.
Another idea for trusts that will go on for a long time is to appoint a professional “trust advisor” in addition to having a trustee. A trust advisor refers to an independent person that you designate to always be on standby when needed. This person will handle the issues that the trustee and the beneficiaries aren’t able to handle independently.
When you assign trustees, make sure you have a clause in the trust document that spells out the compensation plan. Don’t expect anyone to do all the tasks for you for free. It usually takes time, effort, and many of them leave what they are doing to handle your tasks. A corporate trustee won’t do anything for free; it is upon you to decide how much you will pay.
Include a provision in the will that will spell out what you believe is a reasonable charge, but don’t let them do this for free.
Who is the Beneficiary?
As you know too well, if you don’t have a will or a trust, then the law in Long Island will dictate the person that inherits the estate when you pass away. Why would you let the state decide for you?
At least when you have a will, you can name who the beneficiary is. You can choose who you want, regardless of what the state says. However, if a person close to you feels that you shouldn’t have left them out, they can file a motion to contest the will.
When you have a RLT, the grantor retains the freedom to choose who gets what and in what amounts. A disgruntled party can contest what you have written down, but it is highly likely that it will be hard for them.
As revocable trust Long Island lawyers, we have seen instances where there is no one to benefit from the trust assets. This is a remote possibility, but it happens. You need to make sure you address the issue so that you are sure that things will work out the way they need to.
As you see, coming up with perfect trust needs a lot of things to be done. It is better that you think things through and then address all the situations that make the trust complete. You need a good revocable trust lawyer to help you handle all the contingencies so that the trust is effective fast.
The RLT allows you to make special gifts of money or assets to as many beneficiaries as possible. For instance, you can have money to look after your elderly parents in the trust.
You can also use the trust to provide for special groups such as your church charity or a group of people.
Spreading the Wealth
This is where the biggest difference between a will and a trust comes up. The trust allows you to give the estate out when you want and in the way you want to.
A will gives you only a single choice in distributing the assets to beneficiaries. The beneficiaries get their inheritance in a lump sum, and it is upon them to do as they please. Studies show that the average inheritance only lasts about 18 months, and it is all gone.
However, there is no problem with giving out lump-sum inheritances. A responsible person can handle the huge chunk of cash without spending all of it. It is theirs to use; it shouldn’t be a huge bother.
The RLT lets you decide who gets what from the assets and gives you the flexibility to decide how they get the funds. Additionally, you don’t have to put your beneficiaries through the process of probate.
This ability allows you to address any specific goals you have for the family and structure the inheritance.
Initial Meeting with Your Revocable Trust Long Island Lawyer
Meeting your RLT lawyer for the first time can be a difficult prospect. It is even more difficult when you have not prepared enough for the appointment. Your lawyer could be as nervous as you are, especially if you have not interacted before. That is why you need to make sure that you have all the requirements before the meeting. Below are some of the things you should consider doing.
Be Ready to Share
The first thing that your lawyer will do is to get the details of your trust. They will want to find out if the process is already underway. The lawyer may ask you some questions, which you should be ready to answer.
By asking you these questions, the lawyer is trying to establish your chances of coming up with the best RLT. You must remain as honest as possible. If the decedent had a trust, then the process will be straightforward.
During the meeting, the revocable trust attorney will also prepare you for any worst-case scenarios about your case. For instance, where a minor is named as the beneficiary of a trust, the court always determines who the trustee becomes. The person appointed by the court may not be your favorite, and this may appear to you as a loss.
The lawyer may also advise you regarding who you should bring on board as the process progresses. These may include other family members or the beneficiaries of the trust.
Feel Free to Negotiate
A few lawyers prefer being paid on an hourly basis. When it comes to trusts the cost is often determined by how complex your case is likely to be.
Feel free to negotiate with your attorney, especially if you think their charges are too high. You can also ask them to charge a flat rate instead of billing you per hour. This will give you some peace of mind since you will be able to tell how much the total cost will be.
In case the attorney insists on charging hourly, come up with a maximum, fee so that you do not incur more expenses than you can manage. You may revise this amount if any complications arise in the future.
Be Open and Honest
The more truthful you are with the attorney, the faster you receive their assistance. If you hide any information from them, it may be difficult to represent you at the court.
Make sure that you state the facts as they are. Provide clear information about the debts owed by the decedent, as well as any claims or contests that are filed in court. The more information you give the better.
Ask for Clarification
Creating a trust is a legal process and as you interact with the attorney, you will come across several legal terms. Be sure to ask for explanations where you do not understand. The more you understand what is going on with your trust, the more you are able to make the right decisions.
If possible list all the questions you have before your meeting so that you do not forget any of them.
Why Choose Us?
During estate planning, it is your responsibility to ensure that the estate is managed properly. Because probate is expected to begin soon after the passing of a relative, nobody wishes to be shuffling with legal matters and grieving at the same time. This is why you need to have a RLT. To begin the process, look for “revocable trust near me” to get good suggestions.
That is why we are here to assist. Our attention to detail and thoroughness lifts the burden of creating the trust off your shoulders, giving you adequate time to concentrate on other family matters.
We handle most RLT responsibilities on your behalf and bring you onboard only whenever it is necessary. Over the years, we have built a brand as one of the best probate firms around. Most of our previous clients can testify that we are the best because:
We offer Trusted Representation
Our team of Long Island revocable trust attorneys is always committed to offering trusted advice and solutions for probate matters. We always give the interests of our clients’ priority.
If you are the trustee of the trust, we offer you the right guidance to ensure that the whole process is carried out more efficiently. Regardless of the complexities surrounding your trust, we have the right resources and skills required to handle the process to the end.
We Respond Promptly
We work hard to ensure that you receive the right guidance, however complicated your situation might be. We assure you that you will not be left stranded along the way. We always offer our clients timely updates about their trust status and respond to all the questions that may arise effectively.
We Have Years of Experience
Our clients depend on us fully because of our diverse experience in RLT matters. If you have been appointed as the trustee, we must help you navigate the process in a cost-efficient manner. Through our many years of service, we have been able to handle diverse estate administration responsibilities, with diverse complexities.
So far, we have not encountered any RLT issues that we cannot handle. Our team of revocable trust Long Island attorneys works diligently to ensure that they use their knowledge and experience to find the right solution. We take pride in the fact that we have successfully guided several estates through successful trusts.
Our Service Packages are Cost Friendly
Some trusts are more straightforward than others. This difference arises from the nature and size of the estate. Our practice is capable of identifying the issues associated with the situation and recommending the best solution that is also cost-friendly.
We represent clients in all types of RLT issues. We have the right competencies to handle both simple and complicated matters. If real estate is involved in the case, we also have a team of real estate lawyers on board who can offer you the right guidance. We also have guardianship and conservatorship attorneys that you can consult at affordable fees.
We Engage You Directly
Unlike other firms, we do not work through agents. We communicate with you directly and can never hand your case over to another lawyer. We take the time to provide you with a detailed review of your case and what needs to be done.
We also give you a direct phone number and email address so that you can reach us easily. Our major focus is that you receive adequate representation during the entire process.
Our services tend to be more personalized. We make sure that the revocable trust Long Island attorney assigned to your case has the requisite experience and skills to handle it. We create an environment that makes you feel comfortable as we interact with you and serve you.
We Prepare Excellent Paperwork
The duration of your probate case depends on how prepared you are. Part of this preparation entails putting the right legal documents together as requested by the court. We help you obtain the grant of probate and letters of administration, which must be obtained before carrying out any actions on the estate.
We also aim to help you get legal authority from the probate court to handle the deceased’s assets, including their funds, property, and belongings. Our team has the necessary expertise to guide you through the entire proceedings from start to the end through a more simplified process that is stress-free.
We are Professional Advisors
We make things easier for the personal representative. We assist them and offer expert advice on:
- Locating the assets belonging to a deceased relative
- Valuation of the assets
- Preparation of requisite documents for the process
- Collecting any proceeds from trusts and insurance institutions
- Taxation and payment of outstanding debts
- Dispute management and settlement
We are also great at offering legal advice when a client needs to sell part of the estate. Our goal is to eliminate any confusion that may arise and cause a delay in the probate process. We carry out our activities with all the transparency necessary to give you peace of mind.
When disputes arise, we do our best to defend the decedent’s will against the contestants. We are experienced at litigating all manner of disputes, including creditor claims.
How we work:
Our usual process
Step 1 – Contact
Step 2 – Review and Analysis
Step 3 – Additional Screening
Step 4– Work Ethics
Step 5 – Results
1. Communication with the client.
Every day, our experts are ready to advise you for free!
2. Problem analysis
After providing legal advice and analysis of your documents.
3. Performance of work
The work process of our company’s specialists is based on complete transparency and constant informing of the client.
4. Positive result
After the court has satisfied your claims
5. Your rating, our work
Then we deliver the specified documents to you at a convenient time for you
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Frequently Asked Questions
This is a legal document that is prepared by an individual while still alive to manage their property and assets once they are deceased. The person has to assign a “trustee” to the property, automatically taking over managing their assets when they die until the right beneficiaries get their shares. The good thing about such a trust is that the details can be changed at any time, as long as the owner is still alive.
First, this is the best way to avoid probate on your assets when deceased. A revocable trust automatically transfers the property to the trustee, who, in most cases, is the property owner. The property is not under scrutiny by the court, and the transfer to new management is automatic. All it needs is the presence of an attorney to ensure that everything has been done legally.
With a revocable trust, the details of the estate are private. They are not revealed to the public as it is the norm when assets go through probate. This safeguards the beneficiaries’ inheritance. However, this protection is only guaranteed if the assets remain in the trust and are managed by the trustee. Once the assets are distributed, then the trust has no function.
You will first need to do a valuation of your assets so that you are aware of how to allocate them in the trust. It is possible to list many beneficiaries in the trust, so that should not be a problem. Valuation helps you as the asset owner to distribute them to the rightful people fairly, and anything that is left out will then have to go to a will.
You can then have a lawyer who has experience in the estate-planning draft for you, a legal document that gives a breakdown of the trust details. One can do it themselves, but lawyers offer advice on the loopholes to avoid.
When the document is ready, you can sign it in front of the lawyer and a witness, if any, to make the trust effective. Once this is done, it means all the property listed is transferred to the new owner, who is the “trustee.”
Yes. As much as a revocable trust covers a lot of assets and gets protected from probate, it never includes every property owned by an individual. This is where the will comes in. This can be property acquired before one’s death or property that is under joint ownership.
The will is used to cover any property that the decedent leaves behind that does not appear in the revocable trust. It specifies who will inherit it and how to go about sharing the assets.
One must remember that the will has to align with the revocable trust, so as not to bring about conflicts. At the end of the day, the revocable trust is given high priority over the will, but the will cover property that is out of trust.
The first obvious advantage is that with a revocable trust, one’s assets are exempted from the probate process. A will has to go through probate, which is always a long, tedious process that is very expensive. A trust directly transfers the management of the assets to someone else, who is mostly of sound mind and can manage the assets properly.
A revocable trust keeps the details of an inheritance private, only to be disclosed to family members. This maintains the family’s privacy and protects them from public scrutiny. On the other hand, a will is a matter that is handled by the court; hence, everything that happens to it is put in public records. Anyone interested in the matters of the family can access all the details.
Unlike a will, a trust helps one to protect the inheritance of minors. If one has children under the age of 18, they can protect their inheritance in trust. The trustee will manage the assets until when the children are of age to access the inheritance. This is not possible with a will. This is a safe route to take, especially when one does not trust immediate family members to protect their children when they are deceased.