We spend more time with our families during the holidays, so our minds naturally turn toward our legacies and what will happen when we’re gone. It may seem a little morbid, but it’s something many people think about this time of year. The good news is that it’s easy to set your mind at rest with the services of a NH estate planning lawyer, like our team at Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey.
Part of estate planning is navigating probate. Here’s how a NH estate planning lawyer can help you avoid it.
What is probate?
Let’s start by clarifying what we’re talking about. Probate is the process of distributing the assets of a deceased person, whether or not they left a will. These assets can include bank accounts, real estate, or financial investments. For a large or complex estate, probate can be a long process, especially if there is no will to guide the distribution of assets. This can cause distress and financial strain to the family of the deceased.
How can you avoid probate?
When it comes to avoiding probate, you should consult with your lawyer about the best choices for your estate. Some of the most common methods include:
- Setting up a revocable living trust
- Creating accounts that are Transfer on Death (TOD) or Payable on Death (POD)
- Writing a will and establishing beneficiaries
There are other options, including signing over the title of your property to a beneficiary or establishing joint tenancy of a property. There is no one correct solution for avoiding probate. Your lawyer will advise you on the best of your available options.
Exceptions for Small Estates
In the state of New Hampshire, estates that meet or exceed the “small estate” threshold can often avoid probate. An estate qualifies as a small estate if the deceased leaves a will that names a surviving relative as the sole beneficiary and administrator. An estate can also qualify if there is no will. In that case, the court names a sole inheritor and also appoints that person as administrator.
NH Estate Planning Lawyer | Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey
Estate planning is the most festive thing to do this time of year, but giving yourself and your family peace of mind is a gift in and of itself. With the legal team at Feniger, Uliasz & Stacey, you can relax and enjoy the holidays knowing you have taken care of your family.