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Can you avoid probate?

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2023 | Estate Planning

Deciding how to structure your estate to better serve your family in the wake of your death can take time and understanding. With Pennsylvania requiring many estates to go through probate, the court process can prove long and delay the release of assets to those you appoint as heirs.

You can prepare your estate with an eye toward helping your loved ones have access to cash. Take a look at some of the tools at your disposal during the planning stages.

Do insurance policies bypass probate?

Insurance policies require you to choose beneficiaries. These are people you desire to receive the disbursement per the policy terms upon your death. An insurance policy pays directly to those you name and does not become part of the probate process, primarily, because it is not part of your estate. Retirement accounts also act in this way and can become valuable to your family.

What happens to trusts?

Trusts are accounts that also require you to designate grantees or trustees. Trust accounts act as receptacles or depositories for property. The items in a trust do not need to go through probate because the property is no longer in your name or estate. As such, trusts are a way you can transfer items to your family without the court becoming involved.

Co-owning accounts and property can also prove useful in transferring assets to loved ones outside a probate court. These accounts usually pass right to the survivor and do not need handling by a judge. Diversifying your estate plan can help ensure that your loved ones receive the immediate care they require after you die.