Oct 262015
 
Probate:  Formal Administration or Summary Administration

When a loved one passes, starting the probate process can seem like a daunting task. You may hear the terms “formal administration” or “summary administration” and not know what they mean or what the difference is. In layman’s terms, a formal administration is a full administration of the estate. Generally, you need to do a formal administration when the estate’s assets are greater than $75,000 excluding homestead property (basically the descendant’s primary residence) or when required in the Last Will and Testament. A formal administration takes more time, around six months to more than a year to complete, and cost More…

Oct 202015
 

In this final segment of my three part overview of what assets do not go through probate, I will discuss Trust Assets. Trust Assets: Assets that have been placed in a Revocable Trust prior to death avoid probate. However, if your Will establishes a trust (called a testamentary trust), those assets will go through probate because the legal title of those assets was held in your name until death. During the probate process, the assets you assigned to go to your testamentary trust in your Will are retitled into the name of your trust. What are Trust Assets? Trust assets More…

Sep 222015
 

It is important to understand that not all assets go through probate. Generally, jointly owned assets, assets that have a beneficiary designation, and assets placed in a trust do not go through probate. In the next three blogs, I will give a basic overview on each of the three assets that do not generally go through probate. Jointly Owned Assets: Assets titled solely in the decedents name will go through probate; those assets include, but are not limited to, bank accounts, real estate, vehicles, etc. Part of the probate process is taking the decedent’s name off the title and putting More…

Sep 082015
 

What happens if you own real estate in a state in which you do not live? If you own a second home, rental property, or any other real property out of state (even time shares), it is very likely that you will be involved in a probate proceeding in each such state.  This process is called ancillary probate. Ancillary probate costs your estate more money and impedes the probate process. Additionally, an ancillary probate administration may thwart some of your currently established estate planning goals. There are ways, however, to organize your estate, including your out of state properties, to More…