If you own a home and want to pass it on to your family or other beneficiaries, there are different ways to do so. For example, you might consider a trust or decide to add someone as a joint tenant.
Those are both ways to pass on this valuable asset immediately following your death without having the property go through probate court. Probate is time-intensive and costly at a time when your family will need to mourn and try to move forward.
What happens if you don’t assign a beneficiary or have a will?
If you do nothing and don’t have a will, your property will go through probate before it is assigned to one of your heirs. The probate process can take months or longer, depending on the size of your estate. Additionally, if you don’t designate a beneficiary, the property will pass on to your spouse or child based on the state laws.
What happens if a property goes into probate?
If your property does go into probate, the court will first determine whether there is a will and if it’s valid. It will also determine who is getting your assets and how much your property is worth. The court will decide how to take care of your estate’s financial responsibilities. If any of the estate remains after doing so, the remainder will pass on to your beneficiaries.
Since probate can take between nine and 18 months on average, it’s a good idea to take some time to assign your assets, create a trust or establish a legal will. This will help your family immensely after you’re gone.