Do all assets have to go through probate?

| Feb 24, 2021 | Estate planning

In the state of Tennessee, not all assets have to go through probate. In fact, figuring out how to avoid probate as much as possible can make the process much easier for your loved ones. It’s not the best decision for assets that you want to distribute to multiple people, but you can avoid probate for assets that you want to give to a single person.

Understanding more about probate

Assets with a direct beneficiary don’t have to go through probate. For example, you can choose a beneficiary for your savings accounts, retirement fund, life insurance policy and other accounts. These assets will pass directly to your beneficiaries without going through the probate process.

If you have joint ownership of certain assets, those assets will go directly to the other owner after your death. For example, if you and your spouse jointly own your house together, your spouse will automatically get the house without having to deal with probate. You can also place certain assets in a trust and choose a beneficiary, allowing those assets to bypass probate.

Once you’ve written a will with your estate planning attorney, make sure you review it periodically. If any of your beneficiaries die before you do, you’ll need to choose a new beneficiary as soon as possible. Otherwise, those assets will still have to go through probate after you pass away.

How can you avoid probate as much as possible?

It’s not always possible to avoid probate. Some assets can only have one beneficiary, so if you want to divide the asset among multiple people, you’ll have to include it in your will instead. However, an attorney may be able to help you divide up your assets in a way that reduces the length of time your estate remains in probate.