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Should you consider eliminating the probate process?

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Estate Planning |

There are a multitude of considerations you may have upon creating a comprehensive estate plan. One of your top priorities is most likely trying to ensure as smooth of a transition as possible for your surviving loved ones in the event of your passing. Eliminating the probate process from all estate-related affairs could be a possible way to bring this to fruition. 

While the probate court can ensure the validity of your will and that your assets are distributed in the manner you intended, it can potentially create some complications for your surviving loved ones as well. The entire process can last several years, especially if you are a high-net-worth individual, and it prevents your financial affairs from remaining private since all details are a matter of public record. Last but not least, probate can allow for challenges to your will that can become a source of contention between your beneficiaries.  

What specific measures can you take to avoid probate? 

There are several different means you may be able to potentially utilize to eliminate the need for probate, including the following: 

  • Joint ownership of property: Assets formally owned in conjunction with other individuals allows for the property to pass directly to the surviving owners should one owner pass away.  
  • Trust funds: There are particular types of trusts that allow your affairs to stay private while also formally empowering a trustee of your choosing to distribute your assets in the manner you desire upon your passing.  
  • Payable on death accounts: Some financial entities and banks offer these accounts that allow for the immediate transfer of all funds to a specified beneficiary after your death.  

The state of New York also offers a simplified probate process for qualifying small estates of a certain value.  

Where to find answers to your questions and concerns 

With so many complexities involved in the creation of a comprehensive estate plan, you owe it to yourself to take advantage of the professional resources readily available to you. An experienced New York estate planning and administration lawyer can carefully guide you through all the intricacies of this process. A savvy lawyer will work vigorously toward achieving all of your estate-related goals, including determining if eliminating the probate process is in your future best interests. 

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