Why people wish to avoid probate in NY Bronx
There are many reasons why New Yorkers look forward to avoiding probate. A resident who has highly valuable assets or own property in other states wouldn’t want such assets to go through probate. Why? Because it would typically cost a lot to conduct probate in different states! You probably know by now that probate will be done in every state in which the decedent owned real property.
On the other hand, probate has to conclude before the beneficiaries can inherit. This may take a few months or years as the case may be.
That being said, what options do you have when you look towards avoiding probate?
To discuss that, let us first understand what necessitates probate.
When is probate necessary in NY Bronx?
Probate may be done when the decedent left personal property worth over $30,000. Below this value, there will be no need for probate.
Also, probate will only be done if there are probate assets in the estate. Probate assets are those assets owned in the name of the decedent alone without any beneficiary designation.
If you understand the above, then you are well on your way to avoiding probate in New York.
So lets get on with it.
Available options to avoid probate in NY Bronx
· Holding assets in a revocable living trust
One of the best and most straightforward ways to avoid probate in NY is by holding assets in a revocable living trust, simply called a living trust.
How does it work?
A living trust is a very powerful estate document that can be used for asset transfer. When you create a living trust, you fund assets into it by retitling the assets into the name of the trust. For example, your name in your car’s document of ownership gets replaced by the trust’s name. The trust becomes the owner of the car.
And most essentially, you must name at least one beneficiary in the trust, who the trust assets will go to when you pass away.
These assets will pass to the beneficiaries outside probate by the fact that those assets are no longer held in your name but the trust’s, and there are designated beneficiaries in the trust document.
· Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship
Another way to avoid probate is by holding property jointly with someone else with rights of survivorship. Here, an asset, say real property for instance, may be owned by a couple so that the property bears both names in the deed. Since the ownership is not in your name alone, such an asset will not go through probate when you pass away. By reason of the “rights of survivorship”, the property will go to the surviving spouse when the one dies.
· Holding your funds in payable-on-death (POD) accounts
POD and TOD (transfer-on-death) accounts are bank accounts that have designated beneficiary. That is, you include the name of a person or persons you would like the money to go to in the event of your death.
By the fact that there is already a designated beneficiary for the asset, it doesn’t matter whether there is a will or not; the funds will go to whoever is designated as a beneficiary of the bank account, probate-free.
· Use of a pour-over will
Irrevocable trusts offer more than just probate avoidance; they also offer tax savings and asset protection. None of your creditors or tax can touch the assets, and that ensures your beneficiaries will receive all that you’ve left for them.
But the thing with irrevocable trusts is that you can’t use the assets anymore once they’ve been retitled into the trust. So how do you keep using your precious cash and other assets while still ensuring you get the benefits of an irrevocable trust?
By writing a pour-over will.
A pour-over will moves your assets into the trust immediately you pass away.
· Ensuring your probate assets fall below $30,000
Since only estates valuing over $30,000 go through probate in New York, you can avoid the complex process by keeping your assets below that limit. You do this simply by holding properties in trusts, TOD accounts, by joint tenancy, retirement accounts and life insurance. When all that is done, what’s left in your estate may be so little probate becomes unnecessary.
Get help from an estate planning attorney near you
To ensure you get your strategy right, it’s advisable to work with a knowledgeable legal professional.
Looking for an estate planning attorney near you in NY? Contact us today to get in touch with one.