and Your Family
Queens Probate Property
The purpose of writing a last will and testament is to make sure that your property goes to the people we choose. For example, if you want your daughter to get your condo, your nephew your classic car, and your sister the cash in your bank account, you can say so in your will. However, it is important to understand that not every type of property that you own can be disposed of in your will. Only property that is “probate property” is part of your estate distributable through your last will and testament. There may be other property in your estate that will be distributed by operation of law, based on the type of property it is. To learn more about property that is part of your probate estate, contact a Queens probate property lawyer who is understands what property is probate property and who knows the requirements for creating a valid will in New York.Probate property
Because all of your property may not be part of your probate estate, to ensure that all of the property you own goes to people of your choosing after you pass away, it is important that you understand what property can be disposed of in your will and what cannot. The general rule is that most property that you own individually as well as property is part of your estate. This commonly includes personal property such as jewelry, vehicles, and home furnishings. It also includes bank accounts and real estate that you solely own, as well as your interest in real estate that you own as a tenant in common.
If you intention is to leave everything you own to one person such as your spouse, child, or another loved one, you may have to do more than include a clause in your will stating that you leave everything to that person.Non probate property
As a probate property attorney in Queens will explain, if property has a designated beneficiary, then it is not part of your probate estate. For example, a bank or brokerage account with a payable-on-death or transfer-on-death designation, is non probate property and will pass to the designated beneficiary. Similarly, the proceeds of your life insurance policy will go to the designated beneficiary as would the money in your 401(k) or IRA. Other types of property which is not subject to probate includes real estate that you co-own with others as joint tenants or as tenants by the entirety and property that you transferred to a living trust.
While you may want to ensure that non probate property goes to certain people, depending on the type of property, you may have little control over what happens to this property. If you have questions about changing beneficiary designations or any questions about how non probate property will be handled once you pass away, discuss your concerns with a probate property attorney serving Queens.Avoiding probate
While there are reasons to create a will and dispose of property with your will, there are also drawbacks associated with probate. Probate can be time consuming. It will take at least 7 months and oftentimes it takes quite a bit longer. During that time the beneficiaries will generally not have access to the property that you left them in the will. In addition, probate can be costly. Expenses associated with the management of your estate must be paid out of estate assets. While most of such expenses are routine, if there are disputes during probate that lead to estate litigation, the associated expenses can be significant.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
To learn more about how different types of property will be handled once you pass away, contact an experienced Queens probate property lawyer. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experienced representing clients in estate planning matters. We are here to help. Contact us at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.