Wills Vs. Trusts: How To Know What Will Meet Your Needs

Your last will and testament is important, but it is not necessarily all you need when establishing an estate plan. While it can help outline who gets what of your personal property, it often fails to provide guidance as to when those parties receive the assets and in what form.

If you fail to outline how assets will be distributed to beneficiaries, you can lose wealth in the process. Beneficiaries may be subject to estate gift taxes or beneficiaries may not use the funds as you would wish.

Trusts May Provide You More Protection

Trusts can be a great tool for asset/wealth preservation in your estate plan. Through a trust, you can:

  • Set up ongoing income for minors or special needs dependents who may need the income for their daily living needs. If a beneficiary receives money all at once, that income may be viewed as a significant asset — something that can make him or her ineligible for important benefits like Social Security.
  • Dictate what the money can be used for and when. For example, should the money be used for a child's college education? Should a beneficiary receive funds in one lump sum or in monthly payments? Through a trust, you can make sure your gift is used as you wish.

Every estate is different and will involve a different strategic plan. At Makowski Law Office, our attorneys are experienced in the legal, financial and business aspects of estate planning. As a result, our boutique law firm offers more than just legal form filing: We are consultants who can help you make informed decisions for yourself and your loved ones.

Contact our office online or by telephone at 716-427-6704 to arrange a consultation with an experienced lawyer. From our office in Buffalo, we handle cases throughout the Niagara Falls metro area of New York as well as southern Ontario.