Probate court is the process by which a decedent’s estate is distributed after their death. Distribution can include paying one’s debts and disbursing their remaining assets. In this article, readers will learn the pros and cons of keeping an estate out of probate with the help of Estate Planning Lawyer Nassau County NY.
How to Keep an Estate Out of Probate
There are multiple asset distribution methods to keep cases out of probate. They include:
- Joint tenancy, where a person legally co-owns assets with another person. When one tenant passes away, the other owner automatically receives the asset.
- Life insurance, where a person names a beneficiary and pays a premium each year. The named beneficiary automatically receives a payout when the policyholder dies.
- Trusts, where a person transfers an asset’s title to a trustee. When the person dies, the trustee must distribute the assets in accordance with the trust’s terms.
Advantages of Staying Out of Probate
The cost of probate court can be high, especially if one owns property in a different state. The process can also be complex and time-consuming, and some cases take years to resolve. As these proceedings are included in the public record, avoiding probate through a method such as a trust is the only real way to keep matters private. Trusts can be adapted to a person’s specific needs, and because their execution is less formal, the terms are easy to change with the help of an estate planning lawyer in Nassau County NY.
Disadvantages of Probate Avoidance
Although avoidance of the probate process may make sense for some, there are several drawbacks to consider. It typically costs a bit more to fund and create a trust than a last will, but overall costs may be lower in the long term. Creators must be sure to put all new assets into the trust, otherwise probate may still be required. Taxes may be higher for the first years after a person’s death than if they’d used a traditional will.
Does a Person Need an Attorney?
With matters of estate planning, it’s best for clients to call an attorney with the The Law Offices of Peter Morra. An Estate Planning Lawyer Nassau County NY can help a person learn about their options, and they can advise them of the best course of action to take. Estate planning is a complex process, and a lawyer can help clients minimize hassles for loved ones.