Avoiding Probate

In New York, the complexity of the probate process will often depend on the size of your estate. Your estate includes everything from your home and other real estate to investments, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, automobiles and personal property. Unless these assets were jointly owned or were transferred into a trust during your life, they will be subject to the probate process.

Depending on the size of your estate and the types of assets you own, the probate process can become a complicated, time consuming and expensive process. At McMahon Law Firm, Attorneys and Counselors at Law, we help our clients use estate planning vehicles to move assets out of their probate estate to avoid or reduce the probate process.

Located in Camillus, a suburb of Syracuse, our attorneys have more than 20 years of experience helping generations of families throughout upstate New York create estate plans that avoid probate.

Avoid Probate Through Estate Planning

There are two categories of property — those that are subject to probate and those that are not. Through a few estate planning tools, you can move probate assets out of your probate estate and thus avoid probate court.

One of the most common, and effective, tools to avoid probate are trusts. When you create a trust, you then transfer your property and assets into the name of the trust. It is then the trustee's job to manage trust assets for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. Because you no longer own these assets in your own name, they are not subject to probate upon your death. Other common estate planning tools that help individuals avoid probate include:

  • Beneficiary designations
  • Transfer on death designations or TOD
  • Payable on death accounts or POD
  • Lifetime gifts

At the McMahon Law Firm, our lawyers work collaboratively with clients to create comprehensive estate plans to either simplify the probate administration process or avoid probate altogether.

The Benefits Of Avoiding Probate

During probate, disputes can arise. When individuals contest the validity of wills or other estate planning documents, the probate process becomes even more complex and expensive. In addition to avoiding probate fees and reducing the time frame for asset distributions, eliminating the probate process will help reduce the risk of will contests and other probate litigation.

Contact the McMahon Law Firm at 315-849-9053 or 800-391-9987 to discuss estate planning options that avoid probate. Consultations are free. A member of our staff speaks .