Asset distribution can be a mess without proper estate planning.
Do you own a car, home, bank account, or other property?
If the answer is “yes,” you have assets and you have an estate.
When you die, these assets will need to make their way to a new owner.
According to a recent LimaOhio.com article titled “Asset distribution when we die,” you cannot assume the person you want to inherit will actually receive your assets.
You need to create an estate plan for your asset distribution.
There are rules governing how certain assets pass to beneficiaries.
Some assets like life insurance policies are distributed through beneficiary designations on the policy.
If you list your nephew as the beneficiary, the nephew will receive the proceeds after providing your death certificate to the company.
Assets without a beneficiary designation require a last will and testament or a trust to designate who will receive the inheritance.
What happens if there is no valid last will and testament or trust in place?
By default, asset distribution is governed by the laws of your state of residence.
Intestate probate means state law – not you – will designate who inherits your estate.
If you do have a last will and testament, you executor will present the document to the probate court.
At the conclusion of the probate process, the judge eventually orders distribution of your estate.
With a funded revocable living trust, you can bypass probate when passing your assets to your heirs.
Working with an experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure the smooth and efficient distribution of your estate based on your wishes.
Reference: LimaOhio.com (Aug. 22, 2020) “Asset distribution when we die”