Probate is one issue that frequently comes up regarding estate planning – but it doesn’t have to. For a smooth transfer of assets to your loved ones, understanding probate court and knowing how to prevent it altogether is key. In this article, we’ll review estate planning advice for avoiding probate and safeguarding your assets provided by our reputable estate planning lawyer serving Fairfield, NJ.
What Exactly Is Probate?
A deceased person’s assets are dispersed to their beneficiaries through the legal procedure of probate. It entails confirming the decedent’s will, paying off debts and taxes, and distributing assets to its legitimate heirs. The court oversees the probate procedure, which can take a long time and be expensive. Furthermore, since probate documents are public, anyone can obtain information on your assets and beneficiaries.
What Must an Estate Be Worth to Enter Probate?
Each state has a different threshold for probate. An estate must go through probate in Georgia if its value exceeds $15,000. This covers the total value of the decedent’s assets, including personal property, real estate, bank accounts and investments. The estate can be eligible for a streamlined probate process or other alternatives if the valuation is below this cutoff.
How Can Probate Court Be Avoided?
A living trust enables the transfer of assets to a trust while the owner is still alive. The assets under the trust can be dispersed to your beneficiaries after your passing without going through the probate process. This preserves anonymity and averts the delays and expenses related to probate.
You can choose beneficiaries for some assets, including life insurance policies, retirement funds, and bank accounts payable upon death. This eliminates the requirement for probate and allows these assets to flow immediately to the beneficiaries.
Holding assets in joint ownership with the right of survivorship helps avoid probate. The surviving co-owner automatically succeeds to ownership of the property upon the death of the other co-owner.
Giving away assets during your lifetime is another option to avoid probate. You can reduce the need for probate by transferring ownership of property or assets to your intended beneficiaries before you pass away.
Speak To An Estate Planning Attorney in NJ
It can be challenging to navigate the complexity of estate planning and probate. You should speak to an experienced estate planning attorney to guarantee that your preferences are accurately recorded, and your assets are protected. Wills, trusts, and asset protection techniques are all part of the comprehensive estate planning services provided by SCC Legal. We will walk you through every step of the process and assist you in developing a personalized estate plan that aligns with your objectives.
Knowing that your estate plan is personalized to your unique circumstances and created to reduce probate-related complications, you can have peace of mind while you’re still alive. Refrain from letting fate decide what happens to your assets. Make an appointment with SCC Legal to take charge of your estate planning, or visit our website for more information: https://www.scclegal.com/