The word "probate" is often associated with estates. But not every asset that passes to your estate is a probate asset. Only assets owned in your sole name at death — or assets co-owned with others where they do not automatically assume your share of ownership — are considered probate assets. For instance, if you own 100% of your house alone, then your house is a probate asset. If, however, you … [Read more...] about Are All Assets “Probate” Assets?
When you and one or more other account holders own a financial account with a “right of survivorship” designation, and one of you passes away, the account automatically passes to the surviving owners, outside of the probate process. Why is this? Because probate is the process for transferring ownership of property that you hold solely in your name at the time of your death. When someone else owns … [Read more...] about How Joint Accounts Avoid Probate
A payable on death (POD) account can be a convenient way to pass on part of your estate outside of probate. With it, you designate a beneficiary who will inherit the account when you pass away. Because your beneficiary has been given the right, by contract, to become the owner of the account upon your death, there’s no need for a POD account to go through probate. It sounds like a great … [Read more...] about Should POD Accounts be Part of Your Estate Plan?
One of the things that a solid estate plan can do for you is to help keep your property out of probate when you pass away. Why is this such a big deal? Probate Can Be a Time-Consuming Process. Probate is the court-administered way that property owned by you, individually, is transferred to your heirs or beneficiaries after your death. And, court-administered does not always mean efficient. … [Read more...] about Top Reasons For Avoiding Probate
One thing that sets Roth IRA’s apart from other retirement savings plans is their availability as an option for passing on a large chunk of money to your loved ones – outside of probate – when you pass away. How does this work? Tax Free A Roth IRA is a “tax-free” account, which means that you contribute to the account with after-tax dollars, and then (as long as you follow all the rules) the … [Read more...] about How Does a Roth IRA Avoid Probate?
There’s a common misconception that making a Will can help you avoid the probate process. While having a Will can make the probate process smoother, it won’t do anything to avoid probate. Making the Probate Process Easier The purpose of a Will is to allow you to leave instructions for how any property individually owned by you at the time of your death is to be distributed. And the process … [Read more...] about Does A Will Help You Avoid Probate?