There are many people who are interested in avoiding probate. If you are one of the many who wants to allow your family to inherit more easily, you should talk with an experienced attorney as soon as possible about what you need to do in order to avoid probate. If you wait too long and something happens to you, you’ll no longer be able to use the estate plan tools available under NY law to facilitate the avoidance of the probate process.
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC has helped many clients in and around Long Island to successfully avoid the probate process. We can discuss with you what your goals are for your legacy and what your family situation is and can give you advice on whether it makes sense for you to try to avoid probate or not.
If you decide probate avoidance is something that you need to do, our legal team can also guide you through using the legal tools that can help you to make that happen. Give us a call to find out more.
Top Reasons for Avoiding Probate
There are many misconceptions about the reasons for avoiding probate. For example, some people think that preventing assets from transferring through the probate process will allow you to avoid estate tax, but this is not necessarily true. There are ways to try to avoid estate tax, but your estate can still be taxed on assets, even if those assets do not transfer the probate process.
While you cannot just avoid tax obligations by transferring all your assets outside the probate process, you can get other benefits for yourself and your loved ones. For example, some of the top reasons for avoiding the probate process include:
- The cost: Investopedia estimates that expenditures associated with the probate process are between three and seven percent in most cases. This cost, paid by the estate, is money that could otherwise have gone to loved ones.
- The time: Probate can take months. If assets need to get to new owners right away, they need to be transferred through means other than the probate process.
- The possibility of your wishes not being respected: A will contest could result in a last will being invalidated. When you use other legal tools to transfer wealth after death, including trust administration, you can reduce the chances that someone will be able to successfully challenge your intentions.
You may also have other reasons why you want to ensure your assets can transfer in other ways besides your loved ones having to go through the hassle and expense of the probate process.
How Can You Avoid Probate?
There are different solutions to consider for avoiding probate, but all of the different plans you make will center around finding ways to facilitate the transfer of assets in more direct ways. Some of the legal tools that can make it possible for assets to transfer without your loved ones going through the full probate process include:
- Trust creation: If you create trusts, the assets held within the trusts will transfer to designated beneficiaries through a trust administration process, rather than the probate process. This process can be faster, more private (no court is involved unless there are problems), and less costly.
- Pay on death accounts: If you instruct your financial institution to pay a designated person upon your death, this can allow you to transfer specified accounts outside of the probate process.
- Owning property jointly: If you make your loved ones co-owners on your property and you structure ownership in the right away, such as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, you can make it possible for assets to quickly transfer outside probate.
- Inter vivos gifts: Giving gifts during your lifetime is a good way to avoid probate for those assets. As a bonus, you get to see loved ones enjoying what you have given them.
These are just some of the many legal tools that you can consider if avoiding probate is part of your plan. Talk with Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC to find out which specific probate avoidance tools are right for your situation.
Getting Help from A Long Island Probate and Estate Planning Lawyer
Mark S. Eghrari & Associates PLLC knows the tricks and tools available under New York law to make a strategic probate avoidance plan. You can download our estate planning checklist to find out more about some of the estate planning tools that make probate avoidance possible. If you’re ready for personalized advice and assistance with your plan, give us a call at (631) 265-0599 or contact us online today.