An estate plan is an important way for a Greenwich resident to protect their legacy and the assets they hope to pass onto their loved ones. A good estate plan can accomplish these goals, but detailed estate planning from trusted legal and financial professionals can help individuals preserve the value of their estates for generations to come. Specific asset transfer strategies can keep value in estates and reduce costs related to probate.
Asset transfer options to avoid probate
Probate is the legal process through which the property and assets in a decedent’s estate are distributed to beneficiaries. Through probate, debts may be paid, and other assessments may be undertaken. The value of an estate can become depleted when probate becomes complicated and lengthy.
The use of specific legal and financial tools can help keep estate assets out of probate. For example, assets with death beneficiaries do not go through probate. Payable on death (POD) accounts distribute directly to beneficiaries, as do certain retirement accounts. Similarly, joint ownership in property can help reduce estate value at a decedent’s time of death to smooth over the transition of their property to beneficiaries.
Steps to take when estate planning
There are important steps that individuals can take during the estate planning process to reduce their probate costs and preserve wealth for their beneficiaries. They can talk to their attorneys about trust options for asset preservation and distribution, as well as gifting prior to death to reduce the overall size and value of their estates.
This post does not provide any legal or financial advice. Specific help with estate planning problems should be directed to knowledgeable local legal professionals. Representation from estate planning attorneys can provide individuals with peace of mind and support as they make critical decisions about their protection and distribution of their assets.