Although a will may be an efficient way to transfer assets upon an individual’s death, there may be more options for him or her to consider. For instance, some assets are transferable upon death, which means the named beneficiary will merely need to show identification and the death certificate to claim the asset. It may also be possible to have another person listed as a joint tenant on a home or grant another person survivorship rights.
When the owner of the home or piece of real estate passes on, the survivor gets the home or other real property. Those who are seeking to transfer cash but who want to avoid probate may wish to purchase a life insurance policy for a specific beneficiary. When the policyholder dies, the beneficiary will automatically collect the death benefit. However, it is recommended that anyone interested in such a policy talk to a financial expert to avoid possible tax issues.
Other ways to avoid probate include making gifts while still alive or putting assets in a trust. When assets are put in an irrevocable trust, they are held outside of the estate, which means that they likely don’t have to go through the probate process.
Those who are thinking of an efficient asset transfer strategy may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience with will planning strategies. Although an estate may have to go through probate if only a will is created, the process is not as arduous as it may seem. In fact, a will may be advantageous because an individual can express his or her final wishes in one document as opposed to several forms or other pieces of paperwork.