Many people don’t understand which of their assets go through the probate process. It’s important to fully understand how your assets are transferred so that you’re able to make things happen the way you want them to happen.
Below is a list of property and assets that aren’t covered by a will. These assets go directly to the beneficiaries named – they do not have to go through probate:
- Retirement plan assets from plans like IRAs and 401(k)s – When you create these retirement accounts, you complete a beneficiary designation form that states who any remaining assets should go to in the event of your death.
- Life insurance policy proceeds- Life insurance policies have a space for you to designate beneficiaries.
- Annuities- This insurance investment tool has you designate beneficiaries for any money left in the annuity after your death.
- Property that has joint tenancy with rights of survivorship -This means that two or more owners hold title to an asset together, such as a house. If one owner dies, the asset goes directly to the surviving owner.
It’s important to review the beneficiary designations on all of your accounts periodically and before you retire to ensure that they reflect your wishes. If you see something that you don’t like, contact the plan administrator to request a change-of-beneficiary form for each account.
Probate avoidance is very difficult to do without professional help. To be safe, you should have an experienced estate planning attorney guide you through that review, to ensure (a) the replacement of any unwanted beneficiaries and (b) total consistency between your beneficiary designation and your estate plan. Here at DAL Law Firm, we will sit down with you and answer any questions you have and give you the best advice possible for your situation. Contact our office today at 206-408-8158 for a consultation.
DAL Law Firm is conveniently located in Normandy Park, Washington. We serve clients in Washington cities such as Normandy Park, Des Moines, Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, Federal Way, Renton, Kent, Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Issaquah, Kirkland and others throughout King County.