Going through probate when a spouse dies can be very difficult. The death of a spouse will change your life in profound ways and you will be left coping with a tremendous loss if your husband or wife has passed. Not only do you need to deal with reshaping your future after the loss of your partner, but you also need to cope with many financial and legal issues raised by the death of your spouse. Being forced to go through probate proceedings at this time can be a very difficult experience.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide help. We offer representation to those who are going through the probate process after the death of a spouse. We know the ins-and-outs of the probate process and we can work to make sure that the process goes as smoothly and effectively as it can so you can facilitate the transfer of assets and move on.
We can also provide assistance in determining if probate when a spouse dies is really necessary. While probate is usually required in order to facilitate the transfer of money or property, there are times when probate can be avoided. You should give us a call to find out if there are steps you can take to make certain your family is able to avoid probate, or to find out if probate is needed following the death of your spouse.
Is Probate When a Spouse Dies Really Necessary?
Probate can be required after a death unless steps have been taken to allow for the transfer of assets outside of the probate process or unless the estate is a small one. According to the New York Courts, you may be able to avoid full probate proceedings and instead facilitate the transfer of wealth through small estate administration when the deceased person had less than $30,000 in personal property. The deceased must also not have owned real estate, unless that real estate was owned jointly with someone — such as a spouse — and there are no plans to sell the real estate.
If a deceased person had more than $30,000 in personal wealth or had real property that was not jointly owned, then probate proceedings are likely going to be necessary. However, it is possible to make plans during the course of your life to allow for assets to be transferred outside of probate so the process can be avoided. For example, assets can be transferred outside of probate when a trust is created and the trust owns the assets instead of the deceased person. If the deceased structures property as jointly owned with rights of survivorship, the property can also pass automatically to surviving owners. And if the deceased uses pay on death accounts, assets in those accounts can be transferred to new owners outside of probate. None of these strategies should be attempted without first speaking with an expert estate planning attorney.
By working with an attorney, it is possible to make sure that a spouse can inherit essentially all assets without any passing through the probate process — which means probate could be avoided. But, these plans need to be made before a death occurs, so take action early if you don’t want your spouse to be forced to go through probate after a death.
Getting Help from a Rochester Probate Lawyer
A Rochester probate lawyer at The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide the type of personalized help that you need when you make an estate plan that allows you to spare your husband or wife the stress and time involved with probate proceedings. We will work with you to make certain you can transfer your money and property outside of the probate process so your spouse won’t have to deal with probate while also coping with grief.
We can also provide representation to those whose loved one has passed on. We can help you to determine if probate is necessary and, if probate proceedings are needed, will go through the probate process with you. We represent the executor of an estate, heirs or beneficiaries, and anyone else with an interest in probate proceedings. Our goal is to help ensure that the process goes quickly, that the transfer of assets is cost-effective, and that the wishes of the deceased are met.
To find out more about how The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at (585) 374-5210 or contact us online today for personalized help.