3 Ways to Avoid the Probating Process in Long Island
No one wants to work hard for their money just to lose it in fees or taxes. Most people honestly just want to leave something to their kids and other family members and loved ones. There are those who work all their lives just to leave something behind for their heirs. None of those hard-working people want to see their hard-earned monies tied up in probate. There are some ways you can keep your estate and its assets from falling victim to the entire process of probating. Sometimes the frustration comes from getting all your properties stuck in the system until the courts can sort it all out. But if you can avoid probate altogether you can save these and other hassles. Another thing you can avoid is paying all the high court costs and fees associated with hiring a New York Probate Lawyer. It will take some planning, but it is do-able and it’s not too complicated. Here are three tips to help you avoid getting your possessions and estate caught up in probate courts and proceedings.
Ditch the Will and Use a Living Trust
One way to avoid going through a New York probate lawyer is to create a living trust instead of a will. Most understand how a will works. The person dies and leaves a will that outlines how all the assets are to be disbursed to their loved ones. A living trust is different. Instead of listing it all out in a will, you put everything into a trust, but you do it while you are living. You will also need to appoint a trustee who will ensure the beneficiaries get what was planned for them when you pass away. The assets in your trust don’t need to go through the probating process and there’s no need for a New York probate lawyer to get involved. Everything is distributed directly from and through the trust.
By having a living trust, you’ll save time, hassle and paying for a probate attorney in NY. There is also no need for probating a will that doesn’t exist. When you have to probate a will, it can rack up some huge costs including probate fees. Of course, the expenses are deducted from the estate and it’s done prior to paying debts. It can amount to as much as 10 percent of the whole estate’s worth. By using a living trust, these funds can instead be used on other things such as your burial costs when the time comes.
Determining Beneficiaries for Your Accounts
For some people and certain situations, a will is the best option and just makes more sense than using a trust. But, having a will doesn’t automatically mean you need a New York probate lawyer to help it through the probate proceedings. Other options include naming beneficiaries on your accounts. By naming a beneficiary on your accounts they take on a payable on death status. This includes accounts like your bank accounts, retirement funds, IRAs, and 401K accounts. If you didn’t assign a beneficiary on these accounts when you first set them up, you can still do it. It is as simple as asking for a form and filling it out with the name of the person(s) you want to designate as a beneficiary.
Once you’ve designated a beneficiary on a retirement and other personal accounts, they’ll automatically have control of your account when you pass away. There’s no need for the court to probate and determine who gets the account. You’ve already set it up so there are no hassles. You’ll be able to avoid the probating process and have no need for a New York probate lawyer to help.
The Joint-Tenancy Option
If you’d like to keep your property and other types of assets out of probate, own them with someone. When you own joint property with someone else, they become the sole owner when you die. In a joint-ownership situation, once one of the owners passes away, the other person automatically becomes the owner. There is absolutely no need for doing lots of paperwork, hiring a New York probate lawyer, or going to court in this case. Designating a joint ownership is a simple way to avoid the probating process. It is settled without contest.
Contact a NY Probate Attorney!
These three suggestions aren’t the only ways to avoid probating an estate, but they do simplify the process for both you and any beneficiaries. If you still have questions, contact a New York probate lawyer who can answer your specific questions about the processes.