What Is an Inheritance Trust?

New York Inheritance Law

One of the first steps in estate planning is to write a thorough Last Will and Testament so that you can direct what happens to your estate after you pass. Your will should be customized to your individual situation and should consider important factors such as current estate taxes. insurance issues, and other aspects that will help move things easily through the probate process.

Children Under the Age of 18

Do you have children under the age of 18 that you want to leave assets to in your will? New York inheritance law prohibits a child under the age of 18 from directly inheriting and taking control over money and property. If your estate planning does not include provisions to make sure that money and property is appropriately managed on behalf of the child, the court will appoint a guardian for those funds. Even if the child is not a minor, they might not be mature enough to take total possession and control of an inheritance. Creating an inheritance trust can address this situation.

Using Inheritance Trusts

In the case of minor children, inheritance trusts provide that the child’s inheritance will be maintained in the trust and distributed based on the terms of the trust. Close family members often serve as trustees and can use their discretion to distribute the assets of the trust to or for the benefit of the child for any reason. For adult children, inheritance trusts provide that, while your children are alive, they have complete access to the income and the principal of their Inheritance. When your child dies, if there are unused estate assets, they may be directed to your grandchildren instead of in-laws or others. If one of your children dies without leaving children of their own, then the trust funds go to their surviving brothers and sisters.

Next Steps

Drafting a will or trust requires careful research of all related state laws, to make sure the documents are valid and meet all legal requirements. We can ensure that your will or trust complies with state law, takes into consideration your specific circumstances, delivers the best tax advantages, and provide ongoing support to your beneficiaries. Contact our office at (914) 228-7448 to schedule a consultation today.

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