Probate is easier when a will or living trust is in place, defining your wishes. Such documents name your beneficiaries and the person who will oversee your final wishes. Creating these documents will make a tough life event a bit easier on the people you love.
While your will still goes through probate, it is simpler if you have planned in advance. Probate estate administration in Ridgeland involves authenticating your will by a court and authorizing your Executor to pay your taxes and debts. Also, it includes distributing the remaining property according to your specific instructions. Keep reading to learn more about how probate works:
When Probate is a Must
Unless you plan your estate properly, it will go through probate. To reduce the burden and headache associated with the probate process, you should consider creating a trust. The assets you put in this trust will not go through probate.
Probate is a process that makes sure your chosen beneficiaries get the appropriate assets and titles from your estate. If you do not have a will or trust in place, the court will appoint somebody to represent your estate. This representative will perform the job of an executor. Without a will, all of your possessions will go through probate. This applies to the inheritance whose beneficiaries die before you do and you did not update your will. In this case, the court will decide how to settle this inheritance. Other assets that go through the probate process include non-titled property, partner-owned investment property, and sole ownership property.
Assets That Do Not Go Through Probate
Some assets and property won’t go through the probate process. Proper estate planning helps you avoid probate for the following:
- Items with named beneficiaries. By naming a beneficiary on an asset, probate can be avoided. For instance, beneficiaries are named in life insurance policies.
- Assets in a living trust. A trust owns the assets placed in it. Thus, anything inside it can be given to your beneficiary as the trust specifies when you die. Thus, the assets avoid probate.
- Payable on death (POD) and transfer on death (TOD) items. Property and assets like real estate, bank accounts, stocks, cars, and retirement accounts are titled with POD or TOD, they don’t go through probate. Thus, they can be distributed directly to your chosen beneficiaries.
- Property titled jointly with survivor’s rights. A survivor automatically gets this property following your death. The property does not have to through the probate process.