Scenarios in which retirement accounts may be subject to probate

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2020 | Probate And Estate Administration

Many individuals in Nevada and elsewhere spend decades building up retirement accounts and they may wish to pass on such assets to loved ones after they are gone. In many cases, retirement assets might have the advantage of bypassing the process of probate. However, there are certain scenarios in which such assets could be subjected to this process and understanding what might bring this about could be key to preventing an unexpected outcome.

While there are a variety of ways in which retirement accounts might end up in probate, each of these scenarios could be avoidable. One example of such an outcome could involve listing one’s estate as beneficiary of a retirement account. Creditors may retain the right to access estate assets to fulfill financial obligations during probate, and this could include assets that are distributed to the estate.

There is also a chance retirement assets might end up in probate should a person choose to name a minor as beneficiary of the account. One may be able to avoid such a scenario by naming someone to manage his or her finances until minor beneficiaries reach an age in which they can take over control of assets. It is also possible that retirement accounts may be subjected to probate if a person’s chosen beneficiaries have passed on or are ineligible to take possession of the assets.

While careful planning concerning beneficiary designations can help ensure that retirement accounts bypass probate, knowing how to achieve this goal might not always be an easy task. Those who wish to better understand this aspect of estate planning could choose to consult with an attorney for guidance in making informed choices about their future. An attorney can work with a client in Nevada in creating an estate plan that aligns with his or her wishes and provide insight on how to know when it might be time to update information accordingly.