Estate owners must evaluate plans for protecting their assets and preventing seizure through the probate court. Creditors have the opportunity to seize assets as the estate enters probate if the estate owner has outstanding debts. A clear estate plan prevents seizure and addresses complications that could arise when the estate enters into the probate process.

Create A Will

A will defines how the estate owner’s assets are divided between their heirs. By meeting with an attorney, the estate owner reviews their rights and finds out everything they need to know about giving their assets to their family. For example, when transferring real estate, the estate owner cannot give a house to a minor directly.

The child would get access to the property when they become an adult. Under the circumstances, the estate owner would need to transfer the property to a trust or another family member that will need to transfer the property to the minor once they are of age. Stipulations in the will could prevent the other family member from seizing the asset and not abiding by the estate owner’s wishes.

Separating Assets from the Estate

To separate assets from the estate, estate owners can set up a trust and transfer assets to the trust. The assets will not be in the estate owner’s name after the transfer, this prevents the probate court from seizing the property during the probate process. The estate owner maintains control over the assets until they die.

When setting up the trust, the estate owner must choose a successor. Typically, estate owners choose their spouse as the successor, but as everyone knows in life, marriage doesn’t last forever for everyone. So, they should set up stipulations to protect their heirs from losing their inheritance because of an angry ex.

Trust Funds for Heirs

Trust funds give heirs monetary inheritance that provides financial support and prevents them from facing financial hardships after the estate owner dies. The estate owner can set up stipulations that prevent the heirs from squandering their money and spending it too quickly. They can set up a disbursement each year and prevent the heir from using all their inheritance at once. For example, they may set up the fund for college or for a home. During the Probate Process, the court will review the assets and determine if the heirs are required to pay taxes on any monetary awards they receive.

Transferring Ownership Earlier

The estate owner can set up earlier transfers for some assets. For example, if the estate owner was diagnosed with a progressive illness such as Alzheimer’s disease, they can transfer the property while they are still lucid, and the assets are protected if the estate owner ever needs to go to a nursing home.

Estate owners must follow vital steps to protect their assets and ensure that their family gets their inheritance. Their plan must address the transfer of ownership and shouldn’t present difficulties for the heirs. Estate owners can discuss these plans by contacting an attorney now.