Determining which assets may be exempt from probate can help you create a better estate plan. It will also help loved ones more easily carry out the necessary legal filings.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process that involves identifying the assets and debts of a person after they pass. Avoiding it can be advantageous because probate can take over a year in some instances, and the court can’t distribute any assets until it’s complete.
Are Any of My Assets Exempt From Probate in FL?
Most assets can be made exempt from probate in Florida if they fall into certain categories.
With a revocable trust, you put assets into it but maintain complete control of what goes in, what comes out, and whether or not you want to dissolve it.
Transfer on Death Accounts
Transfer on death accounts automatically transfer to the beneficiary named on the respective account. For example, if you have a stock portfolio, you can name your son as the beneficiary of it, and he will receive it in full at the time of your death.
Accounts that are jointly owned will transfer to the other person on an account when you die. For example, if you have a joint savings account with a spouse, they will gain sole ownership when you die.
What Assets Must Go Through
Anything that does not fall into one of the categories above will have to go through probate. So, any assets that are solely owned by you, not in a trust, nor in a joint account must go through probate.
As we mentioned above, probate can be a lengthy process that usually gets longer with the more assets you have that aren’t exempt from probate.
Why Would I Want to Exempt Assets During Probate?
Structuring your estate plan so that your assets are exempt from probate is very advantageous.
Keep assets and transfer private. When assets are probated, it becomes part of the public record, allowing anyone to see who got what.
Allows beneficiaries to receive assets more quickly. With estate planning tools like trusts and TODs, assets transfer almost immediately upon your death. If they must go through probate, be
Get Help With Probate From atCause Law Office
Probate can be a confusing and long process. Let our experienced estate planning attorneys help you maximize the amount of probate-exempt assets. Give us a call or send us a message to optimize your estate plan!