Buffalo Living Trust Attorneys
Experienced Estate Planning & Probate Lawyers Providing Living Trusts Throughout Western New York
What is a Living Trust?
An inter vivos trust (living trust) is created for holding ownership of your assets during your lifetime for the benefit of named beneficiaries and distributing those assets after your death. It may be revocable or irrevocable.
The individual who creates the trust, known as the grantor, names a person to serve as a successor trustee to follow the trust’s terms after the grantor dies. While alive, the grantor usually may serve as a trustee and control the assets even though they belong to the trust.
Funding A Trust in New York
For a living trust to go into effect, title to the grantor’s assets must be transferred into the trust. Title to bank accounts, stock certificates or real estate owned by the grantor must be transferred into the trust. Creation of the trust alone does not cause the trust to become funded.
A New York resident executed a living trust agreement that simply recited that his house belonged to and had been assigned to the trust. However, at the time of his death; no deed had actually been executed. Assets that are in a living or “inter vivos” trust avoid probate only if they have actually been transferred to the trust.
A deed is required to transfer real estate into a trust. Merely reciting in the trust agreement that assets are being assigned to or are held by the trust is insufficient for transferring them to the trust. Therefore, the NY Appellate Division, First Department ruled that the house is part of the probate estate, rather than part of the trust.
Are you in planning your estate and in need of living trust? Our experienced Buffalo living trust attorneys can help you preserve your assets, and protect your future.