As we continue to navigate these challenging times, the safety and well being of our clients, employees, families and friends remains our top priority. To that end, as an essential business to the individuals and families we serve, we are reaching out to share important updates on steps we are taking to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus, while continuing to serve you with as minimal disruption as possible.

We want to ensure our clients and friends that our law firm is operating without material impact of the health concerns in that we have had in place advanced technologies that allow us to continue to provide excellent legal services while attorneys and staff operate remotely, to avoid in-person meetings in all cases where that is possible. We will continue to provide consultations and conferences via telephone and/or internet conferencing when needed. We will continue to provide all the excellent legal services that our clients and friends have come to expect!

Please do not hesitate to call us if you have concerns or are in need of legal assistance. We pray for the health, peace and provision for all of our clients, employees, friends and family as we “weather the storm” together.

Can I Avoid Probate?

There are certain types of estate legal planning regarding your assets that could potentially avoid probate, although that does not mean that it will avoid death taxes (such as inheritance tax, federal estate tax). For example, the following assets will most likely not pass through probate:

  • Property owned as joint tenants with right of survivorship, which passes automatically by law to the joint owner(s) on the death of the decedent (ex: joint bank accounts, real estate titled as joint with right of survivorship, stock in joint names with right of survivorship, etc.)
  • Certain retirement assets such as IRAs and 401(k) accounts and annuities which have a designated beneficiary as someone other than the estate of the decedent
  • Life insurance policies having a beneficiary other than the estate
  • Property that has been transferred to a Living Trust during the lifetime of the decedent
  • Certain accounts that are titled “In Trust For” or “Payable on Death” to designated beneficiaries other than the estate

Your attorney will review this planning with you, as there are often pros and cons to this type of planning to avoid probate and you need to be aware of these before you engage in this type of planning.