If theres a will, will the property and assets go through probate for example house,stocks,bank accounts.and etc.

Asked over 1 year ago - Chicago, IL

my parents are both alive and theres no will right now , just for now if something happen to them both of them what would happen with all the above things i mentioned . eem trying to make my father understand that he needs to protect his assets that he has worked for all these years and to avoid probate and courts .

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Paul A. Smolinski


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . With or without a Last Will your parents assets would likely go through probate to be distributed. Often we attorneys would recommend a Living Trust to avoid probate.

    More importantly, in my opinion, is the preparation of medical and property powers of attorney for your parents. Without them, in the event of incapacity, guardianship through court might become necessary. Guardianship proceedings are much more cumbersome and costly than probate.

    I suggest that you do what you can to get your patents to chat with an elder law attorney to explain these concepts. You can find elder law attorneys on this website and at naela.org.

    Best wishes.

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his... more
  2. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You cannot avoid probate with a Will. The only time a Will is ever effective is when it is admitted to probate. If there are assets titled in a decedent's name at the time of death, probate will be necessary. If assets are jointly held, (which is generally not a good idea), have beneficiaries designated, (a much better idea), or are held by a trust (also a good idea), then probate will not be necessary.

    Everything else being equal, avoiding probate makes a lot of sense, in most cases.

    Your parents should see an estate planning attorney to discuss their options. If they wish to avoid probate, a Will may not be needed, but they should both have durable power of attorney forms for financial and medical treatment matters.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ******... more
  3. Henry Repay

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are receiving good advice in the earlier answers. When you ask what will happen, however, I assume the main question is who will receive those assets. Your parents may be surprised. If there are assets they hold individually, when the first of them first passes, the assets will go half to the surviving spouse, half to the children (including descendents of any deceased child), not all to the surviving spouse as many would envision. When the second dies, then assets will pass to the children or descendents of a deceased child. Another difference is that a bond will be required in the administration of the estate. So, there may be added costs or burdens on individuals. Also, things that you would think should be simply resolved and would be with a will, such as who should administer the estate, can blow up into added costs. As already advised, if nothing more, your parents should consider at least a simple will and powers of attorney for health care and property.

    The scope of this space does not afford an opportunity to adequately advise you. The response provided is intended... more

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