Prior to August 1, 2013, a probate was triggered if you passed away with assets in your name in excess of $50,000 (cash, bank accounts, securities, life insurance, retirement accounts, personal property, etc.); and in excess of $75,000 for real estate.
As of August 1, 2013, the probate limits have increased slightly to $75,000 (cash, bank accounts, securities, life insurance, retirement accounts, personal property, etc.); and $100,000 for real estate.
Is estate planning still necessary with these increased limits? Although there has been a slight increase, the need for a proper review of your estate plan is critical to determine the likelihood of whether your estate will reach the new probate limits.
In order to determine whether your estate could be subject to a probate you can do the first step today - list and value all of your assets. For example, common assets are a home, checking/savings accounts, retirement accounts (401k, IRA, annuity), certificate of deposits, stock, mutual funds, life insurance and personal property. As you can see, this list can get quite long in length and large in value quite quickly. So, although the probate limits have increased, the limits are reasonably reachable, thus triggering a costly probate. Probate causes additional negative effects - assets can be frozen for approximately two years in the probate court proceeding; the proceeding is open to the public; and possible multiple probates can occur in multiple states where real property is owned.
If your estate is larger than these current limits, or you are unclear as to what your estate consists of, it is important to sit down with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss your individual estate planning options to avoid a probate.
For more information or to schedule your free consultation, contact our office today at 888.222.1328.
About Morris Hall:
At Morris Hall, we have focused our legal practice on estate planning for over 40 years. Along with estate planning, our attorneys help clients and their families with matters of probate, trust administration, wills, power of attorneys, business planning, succession planning, legacy planning, charitable gifting and other important legal aspects. We also have divisions in financial, real estate and accounting to help you incorporate all of your planning together, ensuring that everything works perfectly for your needs and situation. Our Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Tucson, Prescott, Flagstaff and Arrowhead. Our New Mexico offices are located in Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Santa Fe. Contact us today at 888.222.1328 to schedule an appointment!
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.