19 Mar

Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.

Manya Deva Natan
Manya Deva Natan is a California Bar Certified attorney with the law firm of SSS Legal & Consultancy Services located in Calabasas, CA. Her practice focuses on International Estates, Trusts and Estates, Asset Protection, Trust Administration, and more. Manya received her law degree from Stanford University, as well as a Master's in International Affairs from Columbia University. She has completed extensive course-work and training in the areas of mental, physical, and emotional health, including being a published author. She is the founder of two publishing-based companies related to health and wellness and has particular interest in the legal and financial components of health and their importance in integrated health. She has appeared multiple times on Good Morning America and is regularly contacted by national media outlets for commentary.
Manya Deva Natan

bigstock-Financial-consultant-presents--14508974If you’ve set up a Revocable Living Trust, congratulations! You’re definitely on the right track. But…you’re only half way there. Many believe because they took the time to create a Trust, their estate will automatically avoid probate. Unfortunately, this is a false sense of security.






The key to probate avoidance is proper asset ownership, including the full funding of your Revocable Living Trust.
What are Probate Assets?
What assets require probate?
o Accounts and real estate titled in your sole, individual name [without a payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) designation]
o Accounts and real estate you own as a tenant in common
o Contract assets naming your estate as beneficiary

What Assets Avoid Probate?
What assets automatically avoid probate after you die and, therefore, do not need to be funded (or cannot be funded) into your trust?
o Accounts and real estate owned as joint tenants with rights of survivorship
o Accounts and real estate owned as tenants by the entirety
o Life insurance
o Retirement accounts, including IRAs, 401(k)s, and annuities
o Life estate property
o Payable on death (POD) and transfer on death (TOD) accounts and, in some states, transfer on death or beneficiary deeds



What’s the Next Step?


Ask a qualified estate planning attorney to confirm that your Revocable Living Trust is fully funded and that all assets are aligned with your estate planning. Proper asset ownership is key to probate avoidance.

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