When North Carolina residents die, their assets may need to go through probate. However, there are strategies that a person may employ to skip this process. This may allow an estate to transfer assets in a timely manner, which may provide clarity to beneficiaries as to what they will receive and when. Avoiding probate may also save an estate money.
Those who are keen to protect their privacy may want to transfer assets to a trust or have them titled to a beneficiary. While the terms of a trust are not made public, details of a probate hearing are generally available for everyone to see. It should be noted that some people prefer the public nature of probate as it reduces the odds that an executor or other parties will engage in nefarious dealings.
It should also be mentioned that individuals can avoid probate for some assets while engaging in the process for others. Ideally, an individual will talk with an attorney to learn more about probate rules and how they may impact their estate plan. Those who own real estate may have to go through probate in each jurisdiction where they own property. Therefore, this may need to be considered when deciding how to account for those assets.
Engaging in estate or probate planning with the help of an experienced attorney may make it easier to carry out a person’s last wishes. For instance, putting assets in a trust may help them avoid probate while also providing greater control over how they can be used. Using beneficiary designations may also help assets transfer to heirs faster.