After your demise, you would want everything regarding your estate to be settled immediately so that your loved ones can get the assets you left for them. While this is the wish of all estate owners, probate process can be a huge hindrance.
Probate, a process done to determine the validity of a will and administer the estate of a deceased, can be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful. This process can put your loved ones in a challenging situation. Thus, it makes sense to create an estate plan that bypasses the process.
But how do you do that? As we progress, I’ll provide you with a list of different available options.
Let’s take a brief look at what probate is.
What is Probate?
Probate is simply the legal framework that is used to handle property, possessions and finance. This court process is mainly carried out to determine the authenticity or validity of a will and administer the estate of a deceased estate owned (if he or she died without a will).
As we already know, the probate process can be complex, long winded and very frustrating. How does this process work? You may ask. You see, most individuals will have made a will or need to draft a will (a legal document designating the person or person who is tasked with executing the decedent’s wishes for the administration of their estate). If there exist no will then an executor is designate by the court.
Available options to avoid probate in Brooklyn
Payable-on-Death Designations for Bank Accounts
In Brooklyn, New York, you can include a “payable-on-death (POD) designation to bank accounts like savings accounts or certificates of deposit. You still have control over the money in the account, your payable-on-death designation beneficiary has zero rights to the money, and you can splash all the money if you desire. Upon your death, the beneficiary can claim the funds directly from the bank without the probate process.
Transfer-on-Death Registration for Securities
New York allows you to register stocks and bonds in transfer-on-death (TOD) form. Individuals usually hold brokerage accounts like this. If you register an account in transfer-on-death form, the beneficiary you designate will inherit the account automatically after your demise. The probate process is not required. The beneficiary will transact directly with the brokerage company to transfer the account.
In Brooklyn, New York, you can set up a living will to bypass probate for any asset you own, such as real estate, bank accounts, vehicles, etc. You need to create a trust document (it is like a will), designating someone to assume the position of trustee after your death (called successor trustee). Then, you must transfer ownership of your property to yourself as the trustee of the trust. As soon as all that is done, the property will be controlled by the terms used to set up the trust. Upon your death, your successor will be able to transfer it to the trust beneficiaries without the usual probate process.
Give away your property
Another common way to avoid probate is by transferring your property before you die. Of course, it wouldn’t be wise to give away your entire property as you will need some of it to survive. But, gifts can be part of your overall estate plan.
The main disadvantage of this option is that you no longer own the property. If you want the gift to be the recipient’s portion of your estate, and you fail to indicate it in writing, the recipient may be able to claim a share of any property that undergoes probate
Need a Probate Attorney?
If the estate of a loved one is set for probate, you will need to contact a probate attorney for assistance. As the executor of an estate, it is your duty to handle the probate process. However, we will agree that handling a process as challenging as probate may be too much for you. So, why don’t you hire some helping hands? Our experience probate attorneys can help you and the beneficiaries of the estate overcome the probate process without any difficulties or delay.
This professional will ensure that the probate process is over in no time so that the beneficiaries of the estate can receive their portion of the deceased’s assets. Please contact our office and let’s help you take this burden off your shoulders.