Assets Outside of the Will
There are several kinds of assets, investments, and investment tools that don’t need to be mentioned in your will. Generally, you should review these assets with your estate planner to ensure they will be passed along as you wish.
Life insurance always comes with a named beneficiary. In fact, life insurance is not your asset and it doesn’t pass through probate court. The beneficiary of the life insurance money receives the payment directly from the insurance company. In addition, life insurance is generally not taxable.
There are several kinds of investments, such as 401(k) funds and banking accounts that give you the option of passing them directly to a beneficiary upon your death. Because these are part of your assets while alive, you will need to consult with an attorney to calculate how estate taxes could impact this kind of transfer.
There are several kinds of trusts you can use to help avoid probate court. Usable before and after you death, trusts can help you move assets to your beneficiaries without public record and court interference.
Lastly, you can consult with your attorney to discuss the way in which you are listed on the deed to your house. With just a few legal edits to the deed, you can avoid putting your real estate assets through probate court.
While some people use these tactics to keep asset allocation private, many estate holders use these methods to make the transfer of wealth as fast and easy as possible after their passing.