Settling a loved one’s financial matters and property can be a daunting process for the family. Knowing how to prepare your assets and estate for your family’s future can save time, money, and emotional distress in the event of a death. When dealing with assets, you will need a probate attorney in Chicago to execute the will and be sure the assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased.

What Is Probate?

Probate refers to the legal process in which a court determines whether a Will is valid, but it also describes the process of distributing assets to beneficiaries of the Will. The full process includes filing a will that includes an administrator, collecting all assets, paying all final bills and filing taxes and then distributing the property to the heirs and beneficiaries. The probate process can be long and complicated and it is important to hire a probate attorney in Chicago that you can trust.

What Are Probate Assets?

Probate assets are classified as assets that are completely owned by the decedent. Jewelry, personal property and furniture are the most common type of probate assets, but real estate owned fully by the decedent, life insurance policies that list the decedent and bank accounts that are solely in the decedent’s name that does not list a beneficiary are also classified as probate assets. A probate attorney in Chicago, Like Jeltes Law will evaluate your case to determine the type of assets you and your family are inheriting.

What Are Non-Probate Assets?

Probate assets are assets that have a designated beneficiary. Since there is a clear recipient of these assets, they do not have to undergo the probate process. Some examples of non-probate process are listed below.

  • Real estate that is jointly owned with another living person
  • Bank Accounts that have a beneficiary listed
  • Retirement plans that have a beneficiary listed
  • Life insurance policies that list someone other than the descendant
  • Property that has been held in a trust

How Does The Difference Between Probate and Non-Probate Assets Affect A Will?

A will does not control assets that are determined to be non-probate assets. Probate assets save time and money for your family as there is no need to distribute property through the legal process. It is already accounted for and will allow the beneficiary to access it immediately after the decedent passes away. Probate assets are distributed by the court and can cause strife amongst families if the decision does not fall in their favor. Planning ahead with your assets and property can help keep peace within the family and secure your family’s future.

Contact the Law Offices of J. Jeltes for your probate attorney in Chicago.  They are experienced in helping families through tough life transitions and they can assist you and your family in the case of both probate and non-probate cases.