Saturday, October 15, 2022

Do Bank Accounts With Beneficiaries Have To Go Through Probate

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How Do You Avoid Probate In Virginia

Quora Q& A: Do Joint Bank Accounts Need To Go Through Probate?

Even though probate will be required for most estates, there are ways to avoid it with careful planning. The best way to accomplish this goal is to place the estate in a revocable living trust with named beneficiaries. Trusts dont need to go through probate because they are a separate entity from the person who passes away.

Even if the entire estate cant avoid probate, some assets wont need to be included. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts, securities and stocks dont need to go through probate since they will have beneficiaries named who will automatically take ownership. Bank accounts with someone listed as payable on death will transfer to that person upon the death of the owner. The bank may require a death certificate before it will allow the transfer of funds.

Vehicles may have ownership transferred without going through probate. They just need to have a payable on death included with the deed.

Property owned jointly wont need to be listed for probate because it will go to the surviving owner. This most often happens with spouses who own property together or when a person owns a business with someone.

Can A Beneficiary Ask To See Bank Statements

As a beneficiary you are entitled to information regarding the trust assets and the status of the trust administration from the trustee. You are entitled to bank statements, receipts, invoices and any other information related to the trust. Be sure to ask for information in writing. The request should be in writing.

Risks Of Diy Probate Avoidance In Michigan

Reading through the section above may have given you some ideas for probate avoidance, but you should exercise extreme caution with DIY probate avoidance. You may well succeed in avoiding probate, but could encounter unintended consequences.

Lets say you decide to make your adult child a joint owner of your bank account. On the one hand, they can use it to help pay your bills and take care of your financial business, and they automatically become sole owner when you dieand all you need to do is sign a form from the bank.

Unfortunately, that also gives your child unfettered access to all funds in the account. In other words, they could drain the account, and you would have no legal recourse. Even if your child would never do such a thing, their creditors could to a creditor, including a spouse in a divorce, the assets in that account belong to your child.

A payable on death account means that neither your child nor their spouse or creditors could access the account during your life. However, upon your death the funds are vulnerable. And if your child qualifies for means-tested government benefits, a sudden influx of cash from an inheritance could make them ineligible, requiring them to spend down the inherited assets before they could qualify again.

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Solely Owned Bank Accounts

If the deceased person owned the account in his or her own name, and did not designate a payable-on-death beneficiary, then the account will probably have to go through probate. If the total value of probate assets is small enough to qualify as a “small estate” under state law, however, the inheritors will be able to use either simplified probate proceduresor an affidavit to claim the money. Meanwhile, safeguard the money by transferring it to the estate bank account that you’ll open.

Who Pays For The Estate Attorney

Does Life Insurance Go Through Probate?

Video Transcription:

Most of the time a personal representative is going to need the assistance of an attorney in handling an estate. Those attorneys fees are paid from the estate. It is an expense of the estate and it is reported on the accounting and deducted before making final distribution.

Do you have a question thats not answered on this list? Call us at 410-255-0373.

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Where Will The Probate Hearing Be

In California, probate hearings are in the Probate Department of the Superior Court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his or her death. In Alameda County, all probate hearings are heard in the Berkeley Courthouse. Probate documents are accepted for filing at the County Administration Building in Oakland, the Hayward Hall of Justice, the Fremont Hall of Justice, and the Gale-Schenone Courthousein Pleasanton.

What Is A Personal Representative

Video Transcription:

A personal representative is a person that is either appointed in a will to handle an estate or who is appointed by the court to handle a decedents estate. That person is the person who is responsible for managing and preserving the estate assets pending distribution. Once the estate is ready to be closed, they ensure that the assets are distributed to the heirs, as provided for in the will or pursuant to the laws of Maryland.

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How Do You Know If Probate Is Necessary

Generally speaking, there are four reasons why an estate is required to go through the probate process:

  • When there is no will. If you dont have a will, your estate will wind up in probate.
  • When there are problems with existing will.
  • When there are no beneficiaries.
  • When its needed to carry out the valid will.
  • Probate Assets Versus Nonprobate Assets

    What Type Of Assets Go Through Probate?

    Probate is the legal process for paying a deceased person’s debts and distributing money and property to heirs. It begins with a petition filed in probate court and proceeds through a series of steps, including inventorying the estate, notifying creditors, paying bills, filing taxes, and getting court approval to distribute property to heirs.

    If you’ve been appointed as a personal representative of a probate estate, one of your first tasks is to figure out what the deceased person owned. Some of those assets are considered probate propertyor assets that will be distributed to heirs based on the terms of a will or according to state law if there isn’t a will.

    Other assets are non-probate property. These assets bypass the probate process and go directly to beneficiaries or co-owners, no matter what the will says. A non-probate/probate property list can help you keep track of what’s subject to probate and show whether probate is even necessary.

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    How Much Does An Estate Have To Be Worth To Go Through Probate

    Bigger isnt always better when it comes to Estate Planning as more modest estates can avoid probate court entirely. For example, In California, your estate will not be subject to probate if the total of your remaining assets is less than $150,000. Remaining assets are only those that are considered probate assets. This means that even if you have a larger estate as a whole, you may be able to take advantage of a simpler probate process.

    Lets say Frank has a $500,000 jointly owned property, a $300,000 bank account for which a payable-on-death beneficiary has been named, a $100,000 life insurance policy, $50,000 of assets under a Living Trust, and a solely-owned car worth $20,000. On first glance, one might assume that Franks estate is valued at $970,000 and therefore subject to probate. But because the car is his only probate asset, his estate would likely be able to avoid probate in most states.

    Keep in mind that what qualifies as small varies from state to state so be sure to check your municipalitys specific probate laws.

    Why Should You Avoid Probate

    Probate isnt always a bad idea. It can give heirs certainty that all claims against an estate have been addressed, and court oversight of the process can provide accountability. In many cases, however, a formal probate process simply is not necessary. Streamlined probate processes are available in some circumstances for smaller estates. If you have more than a minimal amount of assets, you may need to take deliberate steps to avoid probate in Michigan.

    You may want to plan for probate avoidance if you want your family to have immediate access to your assets, if you dont want them to have to seek court permission to continue running your business, or if you simply want to avoid the expense of the probate process. If you have real estate in multiple states , your estate will have to go through probate in both states unless you plan to avoid probate. There is another reason you may want to avoid probate, too: probate filings are public record. Most people prefer to keep their financial information private, including after their death.

    In general, if you dont have a specific reason that you want your estate to go through probate, its best to plan to avoid it. Here are some ways to do just that.

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    When Can A Will Be Contested

    Most challenges to Wills are by potential heirs or beneficiaries who got little or nothing. Will contests must be filed in Probate court within a certain number of days after receiving notice of the death, or petition to admit the Will to probate, or issuance of Letters Testamentary to a personal representative. Examples of reasons to challenge a Will are:

    • there is a later Will which, if valid, would replace the earlier Will
    • the Will was made at a time the decedent was not mentally competent to make a Will
    • the Will was the result of fraud, mistake or “undue influence”
    • the Will was not properly “executed”
    • the so-called Will is actually a forgery
    • for some other reason the Will is invalid.

    If there is a Will contest, you should hire an experienced lawyer. The probate court may invalidate all of the Will or only the challenged portion. If the entire Will is found invalid, the proceeds will probably be distributed according to the state laws of intestacy, unless there is a prior revoked Will that is revived and admitted to probate.

    What Are Letters Of Administration

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    Video Transcription:

    When an estate is opened by a personal representative, the court will issue letters of administration appointing that person as the personal representative. Once they have the letters of administration, thats basically the order from the court allowing them to have access to the decedents assets including bank accounts, real property, life insurance benefits and any other assets that the decedent may own at the time of their death.

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    Pod Tod And Itf Accounts

    Many states will allow you to designate a beneficiary for your bank and investment accounts, or for individual stock certificates. You can name a payable on death beneficiary to these accounts during your lifetime, but the individual would have no access to or right to the funds while you’re alive. The asset would transfer to them automatically at the time of your death.

    These accounts are sometimes referred to as Totten Trusts.

    U.S. savings bonds can also have payable-on-death beneficiaries. A handful of states recognize TOD or beneficiary deeds or enhanced life estate deeds for real estate as well.

    This also avoids probate because all the beneficiary must do to become the owner of the asset is show the bank or investment company a death certificate to access the account. As with joint accounts, however, there are several drawbacks to using POD, TOD, ITF, or Totten trust accounts and deeds.

    The owner will have effectively disinherited all their other beneficiaries if they designate only one beneficiary but have others who they would like to inherit the property.

    Some financial institutions additionally require that beneficiaries must each receive an equal share of an account if more than one is designated on a POD, TOD, ITF, or Totten trust account. This might not be what you want, and it would force you to constantly keep an eye on account balances and property values to ensure that your beneficiaries receive their intended proportionate shares.

    Pod Accounts For Beneficiaries

    You may wish to convert your checking account to a POD account if you want someone specific to receive the money in it. To accomplish the conversion of a checking account to a POD account, you choose a beneficiary and notify the bank of your wishes. The bank, in turn, gives you, as the owner of the account, a beneficiary designation form called a “Totten trust” to fill out. The completed form gives the bank authorization to convert the account to a POD, allowing the accounts funds to pass directly to the beneficiary after your death.

    Under normal circumstances, when you die the money in your bank accounts becomes part of your estate. However, POD accounts bypass the estate and probate process. To claim the money, the beneficiary simply has to show up at the bank, prove their identity, and produce a certified copy of the account holders death certificate.

    The money in a POD account is kept out of probate court in the event the account holder dies.

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    Who Can Be The Personal Representative

    The personal representative does not have to be a legal or financial expert. But, s/he must have reasonable prudence and judgment and be very careful, honest, loyal, impartial and diligent. This is called a “fiduciary duty” — the duty to act with good faith and honesty on behalf of someone else. The personal representative should have good organizational skills and be able to keep track of details. It is preferable if he or she lives nearby and is familiar with the decedent’s finances. This makes it easier to do tasks and find important records.

    What Property Goes Through Probate

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    Before we get down to the ways you can avoid probate, heres a little primer on what goes through probate. A persons probate estate includes all assets that they owned in their sole name during life. That can include bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate, and personal property .

    Property that is owned jointly with a right of survivorship does not pass through probate. Instead, it goes directly to the surviving owner. For example, if you have a joint bank account with your spouse, or you and a sibling own a vacation cottage as joint tenants, those assets will not go through probate.

    Proceeds from a life insurance policy do not go through probate if an individual was named as the beneficiary. However, if the insured person names their estate as the beneficiary, or if there is no named beneficiary or all named beneficiaries die before the insured, proceeds from the policy become part of the probate estate.

    Other assets with a beneficiary designation, such as certain retirement accounts, payable on death bank accounts or transfer on death investment accounts also pass outside of probate.

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    Why Completing The Beneficiary Designation Form Avoids Florida Probate Court

    When you pass away only Florida probate assets need to go through the Florida probate administration. Probate asset are defined as those assets that are owned by you individually or with someone else which do not have a beneficiary designation.

    Example of probate assets include an investment property owned by you individually, your business, and any funds in a financial institution that do not have a beneficiary beneficiary or if the beneficiary designated passed away prior to you.

    This means that if you complete the beneficiary designation form, and your beneficiary is alive at the time of your passing, the bank account will not be considered to be a probate assets and the funds will be given to your beneficiary outside of the probate process.

    Typically, the bank will request a Death Certificate and some identification to make sure that you are the person claiming to be the beneficiary under the bank account.

    The relationship between you and the bank is a contractual relationship, this means that the bank is legally obligated to provide your beneficiary the remaining funds under the bank account once you pass away or be liable to your beneficiary for breach of contract.

    What Is Natwest Threshold For Probate

    When do I need a grant of probate?

    RBS/NatWest Funds up to £25,000

    No, all Wills do not go through probate. Most Wills do, but there are several circumstances where a Will could circumvent the entire process. Some property and assets can avoid probate, and while the actual rules may vary depending on the state you live in, some things may be universal.

    The executor will need to wait until the 2 month time limit is up, before distributing the estate. Six month limit to bring a claim in other cases, it can be sensible for the executors not to pay any beneficiaries until at least 6 months after receiving the grant of probate.

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    Avoiding Probate With Bank Accounts

    Your assets may include a checking account, savings account, money market account, or certificate of deposit held at a bank. There are several ways to keep these accounts out of probate. If you want the person who is to receive the balance on the account to also be able to make deposits or withdrawals on the account during your lifetime, you can set it up as a survivorship account. Typically the bank’s paperwork will say “John Doe and Jane Doe, either may draw, pay to survivor.”

    If you want a person to receive the funds upon your death but not to have access to your funds during your life, then the account can be set up as a Payable on Death account . The bank’s paperwork, and maybe your bank statement will say “Richard Roe POD Randi Roe”.

    Be careful when setting up a joint and survivor account whether for a bank account, or one holding securities:

    Who Can Contest A Will

    Avoiding Probate with Beneficiary Designation

    Only a person with “standing” can contest a Will. This means the person must have a personal financial stake in the outcome.

    Examples of people with standing to contest a Will are:
    • a child or spouse who was cut out of the Will
    • a child who receives one third of the estate if a sibling receives two thirds,
    • children who feel that the local charity should not get all the parents assets,
    • anyone who was treated more favorably in an earlier Will.

    Sometimes, there is a Will contest because someone wants a different person, bank, or trust company to serve as personal representative for the estate, or as a trustee of trusts created by the Will.

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