Do you want to know whether you will have to undergo probate now that your loved one has passed and leaves a last will behind? The first question that a reasonable probate attorney will ask you is whether there was a trust set up or just a Will. If there was just a Will, the answer is, yes, you will have to go through probate! Please keep in mind the time frame and costs associated with probate can vary from county to county and state to state, and the process and laws governing the process.
The value of the estate plays a vital role in this. For example, estates with a total asset value under $50,000 in New York are not subject to an entire proceeding and can file small estate forms. This article will help educate you on the importance of probate. You will understand the significance of probate and how it is essential with or without the Will. Read on ahead to find out more.
Importance of a Probate of the Will
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstandings when it comes to probate. Probate is defined as the process or a legal procedure that provides a beneficiary some legal authority to ownership over the assets or power to take care of the deceased person’s affairs. Typically, it is best to have an experienced attorney helping you file the necessary documents for probate. Probate is a time-consuming process and can come with complications caused by family disagreements. The first thing you need to know is that you will need the original Will and Death Certificate. It is essential to remember not to remove any staples from the original Will as this may disqualify it. Please do so without eliminating staples if you need to make copies for your records. When obtaining the death certificate, ask for multiple originals as you may need them during the process. Mistakes can delay or complicate the process when filling out the necessary paperwork for filing.
Typically, within the Will, the deceased has named a person or people they wish to become the executors of the Will. Just because you are called an executor doesn’t mean that you must undertake the role. You can step away from the part, allowing another family member to take your place. An executor assumes a fiduciary position and is responsible for making sure all debts and taxes are paid off before dispersing any of the assets held by the estate.
Creating a list of assets is a Very Important Factor.
When you want to establish the requirement of a proper Probate, it is essential to ensure that you make a detailed and critical list of the things or assets owned by the deceased. Then you will have to find out some other essential details. These are the details that will provide you with some information about the ownership of the estate, such as how the apartment or house was deeded. Were the assets named under the deceased’s sole name, or were there some joint names? The help which has joint names can have tenants who are in common. This is important as it will give you a better understanding of the estate’s value.
As we discussed before, if the total assets in the estate are under $50,000, you can avoid an entire proceeding and need only to file paperwork for small estates. They are knowing how properties are deeded plays a significant role as they might be outside of probate and pass directly to the tenant in common. For example, a married couple has two kids, and one spouse passes away. The deceased leaves a Will behind, leaving all their assets in equal shares to the spouse and the surviving children. If the house is deeded to tenants in common and both the deceased and spouse’s name are on the deed, then the house passes directly to the spouse and isn’t considered part of the estate, nor does it have to undergo probate.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to determine whether or not you will have to Probate a Will to gain access to the estate and what is considered part of the estate. If you are reading this and wish to consult with an experienced attorney, we offer free consultations. It is also important to remember that it is possible to plan to avoid probate altogether. Probate can be time-consuming and costly planning ahead can save you time and money.
One of the most common questions that people tend to have after the passing of a loved one is, do we need to probate the estate? Of course, we all know that the probate process begins when a will is submitted to the court regarding the payment of bills and taxes. And the estate is transferred to the beneficiaries and the heirs. With the probating of a New York will, the heirs and beneficiaries will be able to ensure that they have the legal right to the deceased’s property, as mentioned in the last choice created by the dead.
In a city like New York, there are some things that people need to know about the Probate process to make sure that the process goes smoothly. So, here we are going to provide you with some answers.
When Is Probate necessary in New York?
Every single state has a different rule for the Probate process. In the case of New York, Probate is essential when the person owning the estate has decreased, and the executor has provided a will to the court along with other vital documents that would support the determination of the estate and the division of it well. Then, with the help of the Probate process, the estate and all the assets of the deceased. Then, after paying for the funeral expenses, taxes, and bills, which will be divided amongst the people who are considered to be the beneficiaries of the heirs.
Steps of the Probate Process
To understand the importance of Probate in New York, people need to know how the entire thing works. So, here we will provide you with some steps to understand better what you’re doing.
After obtaining the deceased person’s death certificate, the executor will be able to start the process by submitting the will to the court. The beneficiaries will be notified about the choice and also about the process. At this point, all potential heirs/beneficiaries will have the opportunity to review the deceased’s last wishes to determine whether or not they seem true to their nature or are part of a family member’s attempt to produce a fake Will for their benefit. If you believe there is any foul play at this point, you will be able to contest the will and raise any issues.
The creditors are informed about the deceased person’s estate, and they can make their claims that the executor will be paying from the assets of the person who is dead. This might also permit the personal administrator or the executor to make sure that they can sell the assets to provide for the creditors’ claims. After paying all the bills, expenses, and the creditors’ claims, the remaining property will be divided into parts and provided to the beneficiaries. As stated in the will, the heirs of the property are the deceased.
In New York, Probate is only necessary when someone passes with the last will in place. Probate, at times, is confused with an administrative proceeding which is similar in the process but only takes place when someone dies without a will or trust in business. Probate can be avoided by setting up a trust and moving all assets into the trust during your lifetime.
We often ignore estate planning because we don’t find it necessary. Even a survey says that only 4 out of 10 Americans currently have an estate plan, which refers to the fact that many people are ignoring the importance of Estate Planning. Believe it, everyone, including people who own a car, have furniture, owns a home, have saving accounts, possess life insurance, and have a few investments, should think about Estate Planning. If you have already thought about it, then, in that case, an Estate Planning Lawyer in Brooklyn can come in handy.
It doesn’t matter if you have modest or significant property; Estate Planning is required. If you have a small apartment in Brooklyn with a car, few investments, and savings, you might want to secure it, right? Estate Planning isn’t just for the elders, or the wealthy everyone should consider booking their estate. 22% of Americans ignore Estate Planning stating, “They don’t have enough assets to leave to anyone.” Also, 50% are missing it by saying, “They haven’t gotten around to it.”
Types of Estate Planning
Many of us think that estate planning is about signing off a will or trust for your family or charity. However, estate planning has a lot to give in, such as will/trust, durable power of attorney, beneficiary designations, letter of intent, healthcare proxy, power of attorney, and guardianship designations. We understand that it sounds a bit complicated, but that is precisely why you should consult an Estate Planning Lawyer.
Benefits of Estate Planning
We believe Estate Planning is essential, and the benefits of Estate Planning speak for themselves.
- Security for your family – Without an estate plan for your family, they potentially will get less money or estate due to taxes, and it will take them a bit longer to get it if they must undergo Probate. An estate plan simplifies the job and takes care of your loved ones even after you are gone.
- Vital if you have kids – Let’s face it, life isn’t secure, and anything can happen anytime. Imagine what would happen to your kids if something happened to you and your spouse? They will end up in Child Protective Services until the count decides who will be their guardian, but if you have an estate plan, you can designate their guardian when you aren’t around.
- Minimize tension & expenses – The courts are forced to handle everything according to the law to distribute your estate without an estate plan. You must know that this whole process is known as “probate,” and it does require a lot of time, and even for the modest estate, it can be expensive. So, having an estate plan can save your loved ones from this payment.
- Enjoy your retirement – an Estate plan can help you a lot even when you are alive. With the proper estate plan, you might even be able to divest yourself of your assets and qualify for government benefits like Medicare, preserving your wealth for future generations.
- Help in Reducing Tax – Estate planning can also help you reduce the taxes by taking advantage of the current gift tax exemption and potentially creating a step-up basis on the first spouse’s death for your real property.
- Peace of mind – during your retirement or after retirement, knowing that your affairs are in order and your family will be taken care of when you’re no longer around can help provide peace of mind.
Many people think estate planning is costly, but it doesn’t have to be. Yes! You don’t need to go with the entire complex plane. Instead, you can consult an Estate Planning Lawyer in Brooklyn to see what best fits your budget and covers your needs. We will not just guide you through the process, but we will also explain and make sense of how Estate Planning can be helpful to you and your family. Having an estate plan doesn’t mean that you need to own many assets. Instead, it allows you to decide who gets what and who will care for your finances and medical decisions if you can’t while alive.
Estate Planning Lawyer
Experts have shared their opinion about estate planning, and they have said that planning is essential for all adults and not just those with considerable assets. You would be shocked to know that around 50% of Americans have talked about estate planning. Still, they often ignore it, putting it off later, feeling they are too young or do not have enough assets, or even worried and uncomfortable talking about death. Some believe that planning consumes a lot of time or is too expensive and doesn’t make sense.
Well, planning is essential. But, it is never too early. Most people start planning when issues arise, and it might even be too late for some.
A question that pops up inside every adult’s mind is, “Do I need an estate plan?” A study reported that more than 76% of adults in the US think having a will is good, but only 46% of adults have one. So you can see many people are still avoiding estate planning even though they know the benefits it brings. However, if you are confused about having an estate plan for yourself, then we will try to explain why you need it. First, you need to forget the myth, “Estate planning is only for rich people,” because it isn’t.
We have seen a report suggesting that young people or millennials are being attracted to estate planning, which is good. Well, the new generation understands the importance and benefits of estate planning. Still, we have far to go because some people still think that estate planning isn’t their cup of tea. People with modest assets are more likely not to be interested in estate planning because they believe they don’t have much to plan for. We see it as everyone working long and hard to have achieved what they have up to date, be it a $50,000 in savings or a house worth $5,000,000. Why not safeguard what you have.
Do I need an estate plan?
Yes! You do, and everyone who has ever been concerned about their family, spouse, children, business, and loved ones should consider having an estate plan. So, you should stop thinking about planning and go ahead and take a free consultation with a specialist. We have seen a report that says that many Americans have misconceptions about estate planning. Some people think that it is only for the rich, some believe that it is only for the old, some claim that as they don’t own much, they don’t need planning, etc.
We respect your opinion and understand that you aren’t aware of estate planning benefits. So, we will simply brief you on some positive benefits of having estate planning. Afterward, you can decide wheatear or not you want to have an estate plan. Check out the estate planning benefits below:
Estate planning benefits
Helpful in reducing taxes:
It doesn’t matter if you are a multimillionaire or a local electrician because everyone pays taxes. However, you must know that having estate planning can help you in reducing or even avoiding having to pay state inheritance taxes.
Secure your family:
Your estate is the only thing that will be left behind for your loved ones. We don’t think that anybody would want to see their family members getting tensed because of the delay in getting your estate in their hands. After all, you’ve worked all your life and now when you are gone your hard work is the only thing left for your family. By having an estate plan, you can easily designate a beneficiary and even set up a trust to help them avoid the probate process.
Estate planning can help you if you want to protect your business. You must know that any business can suffer after the death of its owner. It is important to consider your successor not only your beneficiary in some cases, but not the same person, and add this structure into your wishes within your estate plan. At times if you have multiple children and some work in the business while others know nothing about day-to-day operations it might be best to leave the business to the operating child and a life insurance policy to the other. Planning for business succession within your estate plan is important.
Healthcare Proxy and Power of Attorney:
As humans, we can get sick at any time, so it is best to plan for such an occasion by setting up a Healthcare Proxy and a Durable Power of Attorney appointing someone to make both medical and financial decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do it for yourself. It is important to be cautious when picking one’s power of attorney and assigning someone to be your healthcare proxy because that person can make some serious decisions regarding your finances and wellbeing when you aren’t able to for yourself.
Estate planning is harmless and comes with lots of benefits. Estate planning can provide your family with an extra layer of protection safeguarding them from creditors and predators which can prove quite useful in the near future We know that a lot of you have heard about planning your estate before but we highly recommend you take action now.
It isn’t simple to make an estate plan and will have lots of questions and concerns, but we believe that our expert estate planning attorneys can help Overall, if you’re considering planning your estate then congratulations on Planning for the future and taking control of it to the best of your ability is a great idea If you ever wondered how estate planning works or where to begin to call us to set up a free consultation Estate planning can do more than just safeguard your assets for future generations, with estate planning you can decide how your estate takes care of you in the event that you are alive and unable to take care of yourself.
Estate plans are very different and vary based on the individuals who make them. When making an estate plan, every person is other, and so are the assets they have accumulated. This means each estate plan should be custom tailored. Among the different kinds of estate plans, trusts tend to be one of the common factors, and you will find that there are many different kinds of beliefs to fit other requirements for estate planning. One such popular kind of Trust is the Revocable Trust.
What is Revocable Trust?
A revocable trust is one kind of agreement that indicates how a person’s property can be managed and distributed in their life or after they are no longer around. There are many benefits of a revocable trust, and one such use is it avoids Probate. Probate is the comprehensive and highly time-consuming official process where the court determines how one can distribute an individual’s assets after their death.
One more benefit of a revocable trust is it helps in guarding your privacy. A probated Will becomes a public record, and a revocable trust stays private, and to many, this can play a significant role. Furthermore, if you become incapacitated and have established Trust, your descendant trustee can potentially take over your asset management. Let us look at the pros and cons to get complete details on revocable Trust:
Pros of Revocable Trust
Allows you to avoid Probate
After your death, your assets held in a revocable trust will bypass Probate. Confused? Let me explain to you in detail. They will pass to your heirs easily without putting all your assets through the probate procedure with courts that will be troublesome, costly, and time-consuming. Your beneficiaries may take over without any court oversight.
Gets protection from court challenges
There are hardly any challenges when it comes to a revocable trust, and even if there are, it is challenging, if not close to impossible, to change anything once you are no longer around. A Will has to undergo Probate, which leaves room for someone to contest it. Setting up a Revocable Trust is one of the best ways to ensure that your true wishes for pass-through of assets are met.
Makes you organized
Suppose you’re interested in creating a Revocable Trust. It is an excellent opportunity to organize yourself and simplify asset distribution or asset research for your loved ones. Most people tend to keep their business and assets private, and therefore at times, neither one’s spouse nor do their kids know of all the help they have accumulated or of all the investments they have made. Creating a revocable trust that discloses all your assets and acquisitions and how they should be distributed is a great idea.
Keeping Assets Private
Probate is a public process, and anyone who wishes to do so can follow along. Do you have several children yet want to leave more to one versus the other? Creating a revocable trust would be the best way to keep everything private regarding what you leave behind. This can potentially help avoid a family feud. Also, as mentioned before, it is the best way to avoid Probate and the potential of family members contesting your wishes and turning this into a long and costly court battle.
Cons of Revocable Trust
Whereas many people will agree that the pros of a revocable trust will outweigh its cons, you still need to know a few disadvantages you need be aware of. So, let us have a close at them:
If you compare it to a will, you are paying a little more upfront to make the revocable Trust. However, in the long run, it will save your estate time and money by avoiding Probate and with potential tax savings.
It can take time to fund
Funding is the process of moving your current assets or retitling them into the name of the Trust. You will have to contact a title company if you own real estate to re deed your property into the name of the Trust and your insurance company to name your Trust as beneficiary, to name a few examples.
Dealing with a Trustee
If you do not have a close family member or friend that you can trust to act as your trustee, you may run into some costs associated with a company that renders such a service. These fees can potentially chip away over the years at the overall estate.
Thus, a Revocable Trust is one of the most helpful estate planning tools. Take some time to educate yourself on the topic by reading up online or speaking with an Estate Planning Lawyer.
It doesn’t matter if you are planning to get married, a newly married couple or have been married for years. It would help if you had an estate plan. You need to understand that things change when you get married, and you need to be a bit more careful now. Marriage is a huge responsibility, and we know that every person wants only the best for their spouse. If you are newly married, you must understand that estate planning will give you a lot of benefits from the start. Also, the couples who have been married for years should enroll themselves in estate planning.
First of all, forget the old misconception that you don’t need an estate plan as you are just getting started. You must know that everybody needs an estate plan, especially now that you are responsible not only for yourself. Humans can get injured or die at any age and time. We don’t control all life situations, like car accidents or incidental death, so it’s better to have an estate plan to secure our spouse/children. We know that most young people put off estate planning because they think it is for old folk. It’s good to stay prepared for the worst-case scenario.
Estate Planning for Married Couples
You must know that estate planning for married couples comes with many benefits and powers. Also, it gives the freedom to the team to decide how they want to use or even hand over their estate. In addition, estate planning also helps you plan your retirement and medical care services. Here, we will talk about some significant importance of planning your estate with your partner.
Secure your spouse’s future
We think that planning an estate can secure your spouse’s future or, at the minimum, simplify it while they grieve and take care of pressing affairs. In addition, a good estate plan can help avoid probate, mitigate taxes or even help make burial decisions.
Protection from a third-party claim
An estate plan can help protect your spouse from a potential third-party claim. Neither you nor your estate planning attorney can predict your beneficiary’s personal or financial situation when the time comes. Seeing that assets don’t pass outright to them but instead pass into trust for their benefit at times can be the difference between them receiving money or not.
Planning your estate now while the current gift tax exemption is at an all-time high can potentially save your spouse a lot of taxes.
Must-Have estate planning documents for a married couple
If one of you becomes ill and unable to make your own medical decision, a hospital or medical facility might require a Healthcare Proxy to speak with your spouse. As a result, married couples usually become each other’s Healthcare Proxies.
Power of attorney
A power of attorney means that if something happens to you or you aren’t in a condition to make financial decisions, then someone else like your spouse can make those decisions for you. For example, you are the breadwinner in the family, yet you end up in a coma due to a car accident. Your spouse may need to access bank accounts to pay rent or mortgage or even may need to sell a property to sustain during this time. Most married couples name each other as one another’s Power of Attorney, followed by a grown child or close relative they trust.
A Will is part of essential planning. It is one of the first estate planning documents that new couples tend to set up. A will can discuss basic wishes as per assets and what happens to them when you are no longer around and designate guardians for minor children.
A living Will
Yes! It is essential to have a living. Some decisions can be difficult for a spouse or child to take upon themselves. If you don’t wish to have resuscitation or tube feeding, if god forbid that time arises, you want to make that decision for yourself and not leave it to your loved ones.
A simple step where you leave some instructions/wishes and advice as per your funeral so your partner can take care of it as you wish.
Hopefully, you and your spouse will go through every document carefully a will or estate plan should be clear. Without an estate plan, you must understand that your partner can suffer having to go through probate while mourning or being forced into difficult medical decisions that no one should have to make for a loved one. Therefore, we think for the sake of peace of mind, every married couple should have an estate plan.
You must know that life insurance policies and other insurance policies don’t always have to be in your will. You may contact your insurance policy provider to add a nominee name. We believe that planning is you reaching into the future and taking charge. Regardless of how you plan and the length you take, planning even for the smallest of events is always better than pretending that it can’t or won’t happen to you.
To sum it all up, planning, especially for a married couple, is essential. If you love your spouse, show it by thinking of their future. Help safeguard them from headaches such as medical decisions or probate. Protect your assets from creditors and predators. Preserve your wealth, small or large, for the benefit of your loved one. Seek guidance from an experienced estate planning lawyer, cross your T’s and dot your I’s as your loved one’s matter.