The estate planning process is a long journey from start to finish. It begins when you contact an estate planning attorney and many people believe it ends when the final documents are signed. However, there is one more important step that is vital to the estate planning process: Asset Titling. Proper asset titling is the final key to ensuring your assets pass in an efficient and cost-effective manner upon your death.
Limiting Probate Property
Upon your death, any personal assets that you have not specifically named a beneficiary to will go through a process known as probate. This property can include your home, tangible personal property and certain financial accounts. But what is probate? Probate is a legal proceeding during which your personal will is reviewed to verify that it is authentic before passing your assets on to your designated beneficiaries. It is a public process and allows the opportunity for people to 'contest' your will if he/she feels they are entitled to a larger portion of your estate. As you can imagine, this is usually a time consuming and costly process that delays and potentially disrupts the eventual transfer of your wealth.
What is the best way to avoid probate then? The best way is to title your assets during your lifetime in a way that you limit the amount of your estate that is required to go through the probate process. This can be accomplished by adding beneficiaries to your financial accounts and life insurance. In addition, it may make sense to create and title your assets in a personal trust which will bypass the probate process upon death.
Asset Titling Review Service
Are you interested in reviewing your asset titling? Our team at Baird offers a robust estate plan review process to review all of your assets and determine if your current titling can be optimized to help save money and time for your beneficiaries. Contact us today to get started.