When dealing with estate assets, it is a necessary to go through a legal process. Probate involves the collection and distribution of a decedent's assets in accordance with their will and other estate planning tools. In New York, the elements of a person's estate may be located, debts may be paid, beneficiaries identified and assets passed out all through the probate process.
However, not everyone wants their estate to go through probate. Probate is a public process and therefore individuals who do not want their estates made known to the world may choose to find other ways to have their assets passed out. Certain planning elements can help individuals keep their estates out of probate and away from the eyes of the public.
One way to pass on property without having it probated is through joint property ownership. These arrangements allow surviving joint owners to take ownership of deceased parties' interests without those interests being probated. Similarly, individuals can name death beneficiaries to receive some of their financial assets and accounts so that those assets are paid directly to their beneficiaries without first going through probate.
A person can give gifts to their loved ones during their lifetime to reduce the size of their estate, which can help them avoid the probate process. Estate planners can also set up trusts which can transfer property to others with it needing to be probated. These options are only some of the ways that New York residents can actively avoid the probate process, but as with all legal matters, they should discuss their estate planning options. Obtaining legal advice on this matter could prove beneficial.