This is the first of two writings that are generally about transferring assets at death. This writing will discuss the goals of transferring assets at death, and it will touch on the methods for doing so.
The main goal of handling (or administering) the assets of someone has died (a decedent) is ultimately to transfer those assets to the people who are supposed to receive them.
Normally there are four possible routes for arriving at that goal. The first three normally are relatively smooth and quick. Here are the four ways for transferring the assets of a decedent:
- The person who died had a properly setup trust.
- The assets of that person are set up to transfer automatically. That normally means that he or she co-owned those assets with someone else or the assets had death beneficiary designations.
- That person’s assets are low enough in value to be considered a “small estate”.
- Otherwise, if one of the first three ways is not available, then most likely a probate decedent’s estate court proceeding will be necessary.
The next writing will discuss these four different possible ways of transferring the assets of a decedent to the people who are supposed to receive them.