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When someone dies leaving behind assets and property that were in their name alone, in most cases their loved ones will need to go to court to transfer title of those assets from the decedent to the rightful beneficiaries under the will. The process of proving a will valid and settling a decedent's estate is called probate.
Probate proceedings can be lengthy and time consuming; therefore, it's no wonder that some families take certain steps to spare their families the hassle of probate.
In New York, one of the most common ways to avoid probate is through the revocable living trust. A living trust can be used to avoid probate for virtually any type of asset you own if funded properly – real estate, automobiles, bank accounts, and so on. You can create a trust document where you act as the trustee during your lifetime and you name a successor trustee to take over upon your death. Once you pass, your successor trustee steps into your shoes and manages the property according to the terms you set forth in the trust, all without the need for probate.
Only those assets which pass through a will are subject to probate; therefore, by arranging your assets so they pass automatically to someone else when you die, you can circumvent the probate process.
- Property owned in joint tenancy, which automatically passes to surviving owners.
- Tenancy by the entirety; this form of joint ownership (of real estate) is like joint tenancy but only allowed for married couples in New York.
- Payable-on-death designations for bank accounts.
- Transfer-on-death registration for securities.
- Retirement accounts which pass automatically to beneficiaries.
- Life insurance policies with beneficiary designations.
- Assets held in a trust.
If you want to spare your family members the hassle and expense of probate, contact a Long Island estate planning attorney from Adler Law for professional assistance!
- We have over 50 years of estate planning and probate experience.
- In addition to estate planning, we represent clients in their business law, family law and real estate matters.
- Our founder Steven M. Adler, Esq. is also a licensed real estate agent and a licensed health and life insurance agent.
- We proudly represent clients all throughout Nassau County and Long Island.
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