In most cases, you should try to craft your estate's assets and will to avoid probate. The probate process can tie up an estate for months and sometimes even years. In addition, probate can be expensive, involving court costs, executor fees, appraiser fees and other expenses.
At Goldberg Sager & Associates, our team of legal professionals has nearly 60 years of combined experience assisting clients in New York City and surrounding areas with wills and estate planning. Our firm can help you.
Tools To Help
Below are some of the ways you can avoid probate:
- Revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts: Trust property is not part of your probate estate. A revocable living trust is actually quite similar to a will. Essentially, before you pass away, you leave your property to a trustee. The trustee will follow the trust to distribute your trust assets after your death. You can also create an irrevocable trust. The trustee there, not you, is the owner of the property. After your death, the trustee distributes the property to your friends and family in accordance with your wishes.
- Pay-on-death accounts: Another way of avoiding probate is by converting your bank accounts and securities accounts to pay-on-death (P.O.D.) accounts. Our firm can assist you in filling out the securities paperwork to list who your P.O.D. beneficiary will be. When you die, your money and/or securities, goes directly to your beneficiary, thus avoiding the probate process altogether.
- Joint ownership of property: Another method of avoiding probate is by jointly owning your property with your beneficiary. It will pass to the surviving individual(s).
- Gifts: You can also avoid probate by giving away property and/or assets while you are alive.
The two primary benefits of avoiding probate are cost and efficiency. Probate can be a complex and costly process that can drag on.
By using the methods mentioned above, you can ensure your family and loved ones receive your property and assets immediately and at minimal cost. Additionally, probate matters are public record. If you wish for the distribution of your estate to remain private, you must avoid the probate process. Lastly, creating a revocable living trust is less formal than drafting a will, and you can easily change the terms of a trust to meet your specific needs.
Experienced Attorneys Who Can Advise You
Goldberg Sager & Associates has the knowledge and experience to assist you in drafting a comprehensive will to ensure your inheritance is delivered in accordance with your wishes. Contact us for the advice you need.