After a person passes away, their will is required to go through probate court in order to settle the estate. Probate is the legal process by which assets are transferred to the beneficiaries. Not all assets, however, are required to pass through probate. Typically, it is any assets that are not previously put into a trust that must go through probate and may be taxed.
Many people fear probate and wish to avoid it because it can be expensive and take more time. There are ways in which probate can be avoided or at least made bearable. An estate planning attorney can offer the guidance and counsel necessary to properly navigate the probate process.
Below is some important information regarding probate, but keep in mind that details and laws often vary by state.
As mentioned before, some assets do not have to go through probate. In this case, the assets can be transferred directly to the named beneficiary without having to pay court costs. The following are some assets of an estate that do not have to pass through probate:
- Accounts in which the beneficiary is already named
- Assets to which the beneficiary has already been appointed by the decedent
- Jointly held assets. After the decedent has passed, these will typically become sole ownership of the other named person.
- Compensation from insurance policies, such as life insurance
Because the requirements to avoid probate are often more specific, it’s important to work with an attorney, like a estate planning lawyer Roseville CA trusts, in your state to determine which assets may be able to avoid probate.
Assets Required to Go Through Probate
There are other parts of an estate that are required to go through probate in order for the assets or property to be legally transferred to the beneficiary. Some of these assets include:
- Bank accounts not already assigned to a beneficiary
- Real estate owned by the decedent
- Valuable personal property of the decedent
- Anything not included in the will
When there is no will in place, all parts of the estate are required to go through probate court. In such case, the court will determine heirs of the estate how the estate will get distributed. This can be a long process and difficult process for the decedent’s loved ones, which is why it is important to have a proper estate plan in place.
The grieving process is already difficult after losing a loved one. Don’t let the stress of probate add onto this difficult time. A trusting estate planning attorney can help you and your family through the probate process as easily as possible.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Yee Law Group for their insight into facts to know about probate.