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3 ways to help your parent avoid probate

Are you concerned about receiving your full inheritance? If your parent has a will, it will have to go through probate, which can be costly and time consuming. Do you wish you would not have to worry about securing your inheritance directly? Thankfully, there are some ways to completely or partially avoid probate.

Talk to your parent about the following tips for ensuring a smooth transfer of assets. As you keep reading, you will see that avoiding probate in New York is possible.

1. Setting up a revocable living trust

If your parent wants to avoid probate altogether and ensure you and other beneficiaries are not disinherited, you should talk to him or her about setting up a trust. A revocable living trust gives your parent the freedom of making continuous changes to the trust throughout his or her lifetime. Holding valuable property in a trust means it needs no probate.

2. Designating payable-on-death beneficiaries

Maybe your parent prefers to have a will due to its simplicity. If this is the case, there are still ways to transfer certain assets directly from the estate without probate. Your parent likely has valuable assets in certain accounts that allow beneficiary designations. These include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Pension plans
  • 401(k) plans
  • IRA accounts
  • Life insurance policies
  • Stocks and bonds

Talk to your parent about requesting and filling out payable on death documents from banks or brokerage companies. 

3. Giving gifts

Another simple way for your parent to skip probate on certain assets is by giving away property. Generally speaking, the lower monetary value of assets going through probate, the lower the probate costs. Your parent might consider passing on certain assets to you and other beneficiaries so that it will not go through probate administration.

These are just three discussion points you can bring up with your loved one. Consider consulting with an estate planning attorney for more tips and guidance.

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