The probate process can come into play under certain circumstances when assets are being transferred after you pass away. If you use a will, you would nominate an executor in the document. After your passing, the executor would be required to admit the will to probate. The Surrogate’s Court would subsequently supervise the administration of the estate.
This process is not inherently negative, and the state of New York does everything possible to provide efficiency. However, there is no getting around the fact that there are certain drawbacks the go along with the probate process.
For one, probate is not something that is offered free of charge. There are a number of different expenses that can present themselves, and these costs reduce the value of the estate before it is transferred to the heirs.
The loss of privacy is another pitfall. Anyone who is interested could find out how you decided to distribute your resources by accessing probate records.
Thirdly, probate does not run its course in a week or two. Even if the situation is straightforward and there are no complications, it could take at least nine months to a year. The heirs do not receive their inheritances during this interim.
Probate-Free Asset Transfers
There are some types of asset transfers that would not be subject to the probate process. If you were to convey your property into a revocable living trust, the trustee could distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate after you pass away.
When you open a bank or a brokerage account, you can add a beneficiary. This type of account is called a payable on death account. The beneficiary cannot touch the assets while you are living, but after you die, the beneficiary would assume ownership of the remainder in the account outside of probate.
Joint tenancy is another situation that would facilitate a probate free asset transfer. When you own property, you could add a co-owner, and this person is called the joint tenant. The joint tenant would own half of the property even while you are living, and this is not necessarily a positive. However, after you pass away, the surviving joint tenant would inherit the entirety of the property. The probate process would not come into play.
Life insurance proceeds can also pass to the beneficiaries free of the process of probate.
Learn More About Probate
If you would like to obtain more detailed information about the probate process, we have a comprehensive special report that you can download through this website. The report is being offered free of charge at the present time, so you can build on your knowledge without entering your credit card number.
To obtain access to your copy, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Free Probate Report.