Many New York residents do not have an estate plan set in place due to their single marital status or the belief that their monetary worth is too low. While some people who possess a large number of assets may need extensive trusts, estate planning at its most basic can include just a few documents that determine several key items. These documents could determine the fate of belongings, health care decisions and who should be deemed responsible for an incapacitated individual's finances.
There may be confusion for New York residents who view a will and a revocable trust as being the same. While the purposes are similar, the decision to use one or another of these estate planning tools can affect the time and privacy involved in settling an estate after one's death. In both cases, an individual may determine how assets will be distributed. However, estate administration is very different for trusts and wills. Whereas a will goes through the probate process, an effort which can often take months to complete, a trust may allow the probate process to be avoided.