The last will is the most commonly utilized vehicle of asset transfer in the field of estate planning. If you use a last will to facilitate future asset transfers, the heirs to the estate do not receive their inheritances right after you pass away. The will must be admitted to probate, and there is a proving of the will.
The probate court examines the will to determine its validity, and the court will ultimately supervise the administration of the estate.
This process does not run its course overnight. The exact duration of the process will vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances. An uncomplicated case will typically pass through probate in a little bit under a year.
Timely Asset Transfers
It is possible to proactively implement probate avoidance strategies. There are a number of different ways to transfer assets outside of the probate process. The ideal course of action will vary on a case-by-case basis.
If you have a life insurance policy on your life, the beneficiary would receive the proceeds from the company directly. The process of probate would not come into play.
You may have a payable on death account. This is an account that you open at a bank or brokerage. You name a beneficiary, and the beneficiary inherits the resources in the account after you die. The probate process is not a factor.
A very popular probate avoidance tool is the revocable living trust. When you create a revocable living trust you maintain control of the assets while you are living. You can act as the trustee, and you can actually revoke the trust entirely if this is your choice.
After you die, the successor trustee that you name in the trust agreement would distribute assets to the beneficiaries in accordance with your wishes. These distributions would not be subject to the legal process of probate.
There are other legal devices that would facilitate asset transfers outside of probate while simultaneously satisfying additional objectives.
Free Estate Planning Report
We have provided some basic answers in this post. If you would like to learn more about estate planning in general, download our special report. The report contains a great deal of in-depth information, and you can access your copy through this website.
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