At some point in everyone’s lives, we realize that our estate will be left to the wolves after we pass — unless we first establish a will or trust. With today’s medical endeavors that grant us a taste of immortality, allowing people to live into advanced age, you might be on the fence about whether you need a will or trust while you’re young.
Life changes rapidly, and not everyone is equipped to handle it all at once. A will or trust can help ensure your wishes after death are fulfilled and grant your beneficiaries their dues.
Now you may be asking yourself:
Should I get a will or trust?
It may initially seem that wills and trusts are one and the same. On the surface, both wills and trusts help establish how assets will be distributed. Yet, both come with their individual advantages and drawbacks.
To write a valid will in New York, you need to be 18 years of age, in sound mind and have the appropriate witnesses. It would be wise to update your will, which you can easily do by revoking your old will and creating a new one whenever you have life changes.
The main disadvantage of a will is that after your death, your estate must go through a probate process that can take up to six months or longer. It’s also costly.
Trusts, on the other hand, have the advantage of avoiding the probate process. Additionally, trusts can withhold assets until specific terms are met, which means you can retain more control over the assets after your death. Trusts are also less susceptible to challenges by unhappy heirs.
It’s honestly never too early to have an estate plan in place, and you are never too young. You may need experienced help to evaluate if a trust or will is best for you.