Is avoiding probate an option?

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2021 | Estate Planning, Probate

Not everyone interested in estate planning realizes that writing a will isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, it is possible to leave things to heirs without going through probate. Interestingly, a Florida court could probate a will, but some assets don’t require probate. Those unfamiliar with estate planning might not know why avoiding probate is beneficial. There are a few reasons.

Transferring assets outside of probate

Probate involves transferring assets held solely in one person’s name to the designated beneficiaries in a will. If a will stipulates to leave a house to someone, then probate allows the legal process for ownership transfer. The same could happen with an individually held bank account, individual retirement account, or another account. However, it may be worthwhile to name a joint holder or a beneficiary.

With an IRA, the account holder could name a beneficiary. The ownership of the IRA would then transfer on death. The same may be true when one of the joint holders of the account passes. The probate court plays no role in the process. Often, providing a death certificate and filling a form with the financial institution leads to the transfer. Several benefits might appear obvious from this example.

Benefits to avoiding probate

One advantage to avoiding probate is expediency. Transferring assets to a joint account holder or a beneficiary could move relatively quickly. Probate administration might take several weeks or months, depending on the situation.

The costs of handling an estate outside of probate may be far less, which is another plus. Why spend significant money probate an estate unnecessarily?

An estate planning attorney could assist clients with avoiding probate. The estate planning process might even involve matters not related to probate.