The state of New York requires probate for your estate. Probate refers to the legal process of transferring your assets to your beneficiaries after your death.
State laws govern the management and distribution of property to heirs. An understanding of probate statutes can help you with estate planning.
What are probate assets?
Typically, any property with sole ownership and no designated beneficiary must go through probate. Assets transferred to your heirs via your will must go through this legal process. They can include automobiles, real estate, bank accounts, jewelry and more.
What are non-probate assets?
Some property types are not subject to estate administration, including:
- Life insurance policies
- Some 401(k)s and IRAs
- Corporate stock
- S. Savings Bonds
- Transfer-on-death investment accounts
How can you avoid probate?
There are several ways to make managing your estate easier for your family. Some ways to avoid probate include:
- Owning property, life insurance policies or bank accounts jointly with more than one person
- Creating a revocable living trust that holds your estate and assets
- Setting up a Payable On Death account
Why do you want to avoid probate?
Managing your estate following your death can be both costly and time-consuming. This process can leave a significant burden on your friends and family. Taking steps to avoid a lengthy and expensive probate procedure creates less complicated tasks for your loved ones and enables them to receive assets sooner.
Managing your estate requires more than simply drafting a will. When you understand the rules and laws regarding estate planning, you can ensure a smooth transfer of assets to your family without the added stress of probate.