Table of Contents

Is Probate Required if There is a Will?
When is Probate Necessary in New York?
Best Estate Planning Lawyers in Brooklyn: Why it is important?
Do I need an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning for a Married Couple: How to do it?
Estate Planning for Business: Why it is Important?
What is Estate Planning?
What does an Estate Plan include?
Is Estate Planning only for the Wealthy?
Estate Planning for Singles: Widowed, Divorced, and Never Married!
Estate Planning for Pets: Why it is important?
Estate Planning for Children: How to do it right?
Estate Planning Checklist: Important Guidelines & Details!
Estate Planning for Business: Why it is Important?
What Is Estate Planning?
What Does an Estate Plan Include?
Is Estate Planning Only For the Wealthy?
Estate Planning for Pets: Why You Need To Do It?
Estate Planning for Children
Estate Planning for Singles
Estate Planning Tips for A Married Couple
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Estate Planning for Business
Estate Planning Lawyer
/Common estate planning scams you must ignore
Benefits of Estate Planning for Low Income Individuals
Why Estate Planning for Minors is Important?
Estate Planning for New Parents & Couples!
How to do Estate Planning for Non-US citizens?
How to do Estate Planning for Separated Spouse?
Estate Planning for Young Families & Couples!
Estate Planning Goals For Blended Families
What is Estate Planning in a Digital Age?
Estate Planning Strategy In The Digital World
Importance of Estate Planning In the Down Economy!
Estate Planning Is The Best Tool to Save Inheritance Tax
Estate Planning Process & Step by Step Guide!
Why Estate Planning for Elderly Parents is Important?
How to do Estate Planning for Digital Assets?
Estate Planning for Childless Couples & How to do it?
Custom Web Design
Estate Planning Errors to Stay Away From
Estate Planning Documents: All Must Have Important Docs in Details!
Estate Planning At Different Ages
Estate Planning and the Military; Understand the Importance!
Estate Planning: What happens when your spouse dies?
Estate Planning: Living Trusts vs. Will Difference & Importance!
Estate Planning Errors Through Digital Means
Do You Need A Probate Attorney After Estate Planning
Do Retirement Accounts Go Through Probate?
Estate Planning: Difference between a Will and a Trust!
Challenging Estate Plans – Fraud
Estate Planning: Difference between a Living Will & Power of Attorney

In the absence of a will or an estate plan, the loved ones of a deceased person have to face a lot of trouble in getting his/her assets. The first and foremost trouble is the probate which is an expensive process and wastes a lot of time of the heirs. Every year many people spend millions on lawyers and the court fees of probate upon the death of their loved one.

Estate Planning-

An estate planning is a must for everyone to secure your loved ones and to ensure that assets are properly dispensed to the heirs without a loss of wealth. Hence, in order to refrain from probate, estate planning is essential so that your wealth and belongings must be dispensed to your inheritors on time without wastage of money.

Probate is known as the method of verification of a dead person’s last will, to verify no one is contesting it, and giving judgment over any disputes and dues over the estate. Probate is done in the court of the state where the person was residing at the time of death.

How to avoid unnecessary probate?

In the absence of a valid will which is known as intestacy, the estate needs to pass through the state intestacy law which provides half of the assets to the surviving partner while the rest is divided between the children. If a will is left by the deceased person, then also, the will need to pass through probate which provides a chance to challenge the will, check the validity of the will while questioning the mental ability of the deceased person.

May it be either of the reason the proceedings consume a lot of time and money which need to be paid by your inheritors. Also, the property is frozen until the court provides its judgment over the estate distribution. As mentioned the probate takes place irrespective of the fact that you have a will or not, hence, it is advised to look for other methods to help your heirs avoid probate.

1. Trust: The easiest method to bypass probate is to place a revocable living trust for which you need to set up an agreement and then entitle the property’s ownership to the trusts which are then managed by an appointed person who is referred as a trustee. You can either name yourself or another person or some bank as the trustee. You can also assign a successor trustee who will manage the trust in the absence of the trustee. It is always advised to designated alternate beneficiaries apart from the main beneficiaries to avoid waiting period and protect your assets from challenges in the court. The probate is avoided by the trust as the property is entitled in the name of trust which can never die, however, it will dispense your assets to our beneficiaries without the involvement of the court.

2. Transfer on death accounts: Such accounts permit you to appoint beneficiaries to avoid proceedings of the probate. It is very simple and cost-free to be created and the beneficiaries can easily claim the wealth after the owner’s death.  To add the name of the beneficiary to the accounts is allowed in most of the firms, banks, etc., however, it needs some extra paperwork and time and required to be asked and followed up continuously with these institutes.

3. Update beneficiaries of the accounts: You must review and update the beneficiaries of the accounts such as insurance policies, saving accounts, etc. These accounts are not influenced by any other document like a will, so whoever be the beneficiary in these accounts will only get the money after your demise. Hence, the beneficiaries must be updated according to your current wishes.

4. Make gifts: The estate law permits you to provide your inheritors as much as $15,000 per individual every year without paying a gift tax. Gifting while you are alive supports you to decrease your probate cost after your demise as it depends on the economic value of the assets which pass through the probate.

5. Joint tenancy: Joint tenancy by entirety and with right of survivorship permits you to avoid and bypass the probate. If you have any of your property like account, house, vehicle, etc., in joint tenancy then the ownership of the property will automatically transfer to the surviving partner after your demise. However, it is to be noted that in joint tenancy you have to leave half of your property’s ownership.

You can opt for any of the aforementioned tools in your estate plan to avoid probate and help your family to be secured from the burdensome, expensive and time-wasting process. However, you can also draft a will to check if anything or any aspect has been overlooked.

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