For many people in Nevada who start the estate planning process, avoiding probate is one of their main goals. No one likes to think of their relatives and close friends needing to go through complicated court procedures just so assets can be distributed according to their wishes. However, if a person only has a will - or doesn't have a will at all - going through probate is all but necessary. So, what is the key to avoiding probate?
Well, as a recent news article mentioned, the most crucial aspect of establishing an estate plan that minimizes exposure to the probate process is to have assets properly titled and owned. As our readers in Nevada may know from previous posts here, there are certain assets that can avoid probate entirely. For example, life insurance policy payouts are not included in a person's estate for probate purposes - the policy is paid out to the named beneficiary directly.
And, as the recent article noted, even funds in certain type of accounts - such as many bank or investment accounts - can be designated "payable upon death," meaning that the funds in those accounts will pass directly to the named individual, with no probate required. Real estate and even joint bank accounts can avoid the probate process as well, if they are titled properly.
Of course, the average Nevada resident may not know all of the strategies that are available to help their estates avoid probate litigation. That is why it is crucial to get the right information about your own unique financial and family situation. What works for one person may not work for another.