A living trust is a powerful testamentary tool that can help a Buffalo resident achieve many of their estate planning goals. While this post will address many of the advantages that individuals may derive from using living trusts, readers should note that not all estate plans may need or benefit from them and that all individuals should contact their trusted estate planning attorneys with their questions about the use of living trusts.

A living trust is a trust that is created during an individual’s lifetime. Often individuals make their living trust revocable so that it can be changed or destroyed before the individual passes on. Living trusts can for some purposes take the place of wills but readers are again cautioned to seek their own counsel on the specific details of their own estate plans.

The benefits of living trusts are numerous. Living trusts do not go through the probate process. Instead, the property contained in a living trust will pass directly to the named trust beneficiaries. Living trusts can also ensure some level of privacy, because trusts are not public like the probate process.

Because revocable living trusts can be changed or cancelled, individuals can manage some control over how their property is managed during their lifetimes and can also make changes to their trusts when they wish should circumstances change. These are only some of the benefits that individuals may derive from the use of living trusts; more exist that can aid individuals in accomplishing their estate planning goals. Living trusts should be viewed as part of a comprehensive estate plan for many New York residents.