Despite popular belief, not all of a person’s assets go through probate upon death. The most obvious things to be probated are assets titled only in the decedent’s name, such as homes, vehicles, and real estate. If an asset is jointly owned, has a designated beneficiary, or is held in a trust, it usually bypasses probate.
A jointly held asset transfers to the living owner and does not go through probate. This type of ownership is referred to as joint tenancy with survivorship rights. However, if the survivor dies without choosing another owner or if the co-owners die at the same time, the asset must go through probate.
Joint tenancy in common is another ownership type. Here, if an owner dies, their share of an asset is distributed according to provisions in the will and will not pass to the co-owner unless specified. This type of Estate Planning Service in Reno NV allows a testator to decide who gets what, but assets must still pass through probate.
Some assets, such as IRAs, retirement plans, bank accounts, and insurance policies, allow holders to choose a beneficiary. When the holder dies, the assets are passed directly to the beneficiary without the need for probate. However, there are certain exceptions.
* If the beneficiary dies at the same time as or before the holder, the asset will have to go through probate.
* If the beneficiary is mentally incapacitated, the court will take control of the asset through a conservatorship.
* If a minor is chosen as a beneficiary, the court will choose a guardian. Most financial institutions will not make direct payments to a minor. They, instead, require proof of a court-approved guardianship.
Assets Held In Trust
Assets in a revocable living or other types of trusts typically avoid probate. However, if the trust is in a will, this is not the case. The will and the assets must pass through probate before the trust is enforced, and any asset left out of the trust will likely also have to go through the probate process.
Death is something no one likes to think about, but it is something everyone faces. By hiring an Estate Planning Service in Reno NV such as The Law Office of Todd L. Torvinen, clients can ease the burden on the family while distributing their assets according to their wishes.