Do You Need a Trust Attorney?

Do You Need a Trust Attorney? Estate planning is an important part of getting your affairs in order. During the estate planning process, you’ll need to decide if you want a will or trust. Look at some reasons why you might need a living trust. Then, you can hire a trust attorney to handle it for you.


New York State has a special simplified proceeding for small estates. Effective immediately, the small estate threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $50,000. The new law permits estates up to this amount to be probated with a simplified proceeding, and a filing fee of just $1. This is much more cost effective than most regular probate proceedings.

For the purpose of calculating the size of the estate, Estates Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) Section 5-3.1(a), permits certain items to be excluded from value, if a spouse or children under age 21 are survivors. These items which don’t count toward the $50,000 threshold include home furnishings, clothing, personal property used in the home, a car not exceeding $25,000 and cash up to $25,000. Also excluded are religious items (such as a family bible) and farm animals – if applicable.

This is a much better option for those who face probate for minimal assets. Often an attorney is not needed for probate and a do-it-yourself approach, with online forms, and in-person court clerk help, suffices. Feel free to contact us if you believe this may be an option for you and would like more information.