Set Goals To Protect Your Family Assets & Avoid Probate

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Set Goals To Protect Your Family Assets & Avoid Probate

What Can I Do to Avoid Probate?

Want to know how to avoid probate in Illinois? Stop spending hours searching experienced estate planning attorneys in Chicago and contact our team at Anthony J. Madonia & Associate, Ltd. Our estate planning attorneys are here to help protect your family and assist you avoid going to probate court. Continue reading to learn more about probate and the importance of Chicago estate planning attorneys.

What Is Probate?

Probate is a legal procedure when the estate of a deceased person gets transferred to the beneficiaries. This court proceeding, and any other hearings to gather your assets and pay off any remaining debts, can take several months or even years to complete. If the will or any provisions get contested, it can take even longer.

Because of this, when a parent or loved one dies, avoiding probate in Illinois is preferred. Not to mention, many people would rather keep their financial affairs private.

Avoiding probate is easier when there is a solid estate plan in place. You may have heard this before, but planning helps make things easier for your loved ones after you are gone. Especially by having a living trust, which you will learn more about in this article.

What Assets Are Subject to Probate?

Now sure what assets go through probate? If there is no Will, everything will go to probate court. No matter what you put into your estate plan, the following always goes through the process:

  • Non-Title Property
  • Sole Ownership Property
  • Partner-Owned Investment Property
  • Inheritance where Beneficiary Predeceases Giver

With that said, some properties and assets do not have to go through probate, especially with the correct planning.

  • Jointly Titled Property (with survivor’s rights)
  • Items with Named Beneficiary
  • Items Placed Inside a Living Trust
  • Payable on Death or Transfer on Death Items

Estate planning attorneys in Chicago will discuss the process and whether or not probate is your best option.

How To Avoid Probate in Illinois?

Want to avoid probate? You will have to pass your assets down to your heirs. The easiest and most common way to achieve this is to create a living trust. This document names a person, the trustee, to take over everything after you have passed, and they take ownership and control of everything based on the terms you made. Then, they can pass everything to the beneficiaries without dealing with probate court hearings.

You can also avoid probate by doing the following:

  • Joint Ownership: Owning property jointly means that the other owner takes full ownership after you have died. Paperwork proving the transfer of property to the surviving owner is required. You can hold assets as joint tenancy with right of survivorship, community properly with the right of survivorship, and tenancy by the entirety.
  • Adding Beneficiaries: Adding beneficiaries on retirement accounts and life insurance allows you to pass everything to them after you have died.
  • Pay-On Death Beneficiaries: Adding beneficiaries on bank accounts or Transfer-on-Death (TOD) investment accounts. After you have died, the beneficiary will claim the money directly from the bank.
  • Giving Assets While You Are Alive: It is not uncommon for many people to give out their belongings while they are alive. Reducing your estate’s value helps make the probate process more manageable.

You can do the above without having to deal with probate court hearings.

If you are unsure about avoiding Illinois probate, talk to one of our Chicago estate planning attorneys. We will answer your questions and help you make the right decision about your family’s future.

Make sure your loved ones are covered and plan for their future, and we will help ensure your plans and wishes are honored. Contact Anthony J Madonia & Associates, Ltd. today for a free consultation.