It is very important that you understand what needs to go through probate when you do and when you do not have a will. That way, you can understand what the effects may be of not having a will, or a current will, at the time of your death. Some things are going to go through probate no matter what you do. However, there are ways of avoiding probate on some things if you have a will set up in advance. Here is a breakdown of what needs to go through probate, both with and without a will. This can help you set up what decisions you want made after you pass away.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the system of the courts that decides where your assets go when there is no clear direction on where items should go. Items that only have your name on them, such as the deed to a house or the title of a car, will go into probate. That is because only your name appears on them, so the court will decide what to do with them. They may choose to pass them along to one person if you only have one surviving heir. On the other hand, if you had a lot of debt, they may choose to sell it to pay off old debts.
Items that did not only have your name attached to them will likely just be transferred to the other person. In those cases, typically, the probate court will not do anything with them. Things that typically also avoid going through probate are things that you put into a trust prior to your death, or things that you have someone as a beneficiary to prior to your death. However, this is no guarantee that those items will not wind up in probate as well. Just because you take steps to avoid probate, does not mean it will work every single time.
What Needs to Go Through Probate When You Do Not Have a Will?
If you do not have a will, then anything that does not have someone elseâ€™s name on it will end up going through probate. What needs to go through probate in cases like these is virtually everything. The judge will want to figure out what debt you had and how to take care of it. Usually, this will result in the sale of your items up until those debts are repaid. Then, whatever family you have will be able to have access to your estate, with the closest living family member, or your spouse, having priority.
What Needs to Go Through Probate When You Do Have a Will?
When you do have a will, what needs to go through probate is often much less. You can name a beneficiary or a person to receive funds payable upon your death in your will. Then, these items can often avoid going through probate. By naming who you want to receive your insurance policy, who you want in charge of your estate, and putting your money in trusts, nearly everything you own can avoid going through probate. This gives your loved ones quicker access to the money you want them to have to take care of themselves. Plus, it also cuts down on people not getting items you want them to have.
We Can Help You With a Will
Having a will cuts down on what needs to go through probate greatly. It allows you to put funds in places where the court will not worry about. Plus, you can make sure every member of your family gets precisely what you want them to have. Cut down on the taxes your estate will be responsible for by having a will set up with specific funds going to specific places.
Having a will drawn up, to some, is a sign they are getting older. They worry about their demise, and put off getting a will when they shouldnâ€™t. Getting a will may be associated with getting older, but it is also a sign of understanding that your estate needs protection. It is a sign of maturity and love for those closest to you. Nothing is guaranteed, including tomorrow. By preparing for the unknown, you can live a life with less worry and more peace. Then, should anything ever happen to you, your family and loved ones can process your loss properly, instead of worrying about how to pay for arrangements or their home.
Turn to the experts here at the Law Offices of Brian Hill, PLLC, today, if you want to have a will written up. We can go over what items you want included, and tell you what all of your options are. Plus, we can explain what needs to go through probate and what does not. That way, you can be sure you make all the right decisions to leave your family with as much as possible.