Non-Probate Assets in the Context of Estate Planning in Monroe, LA

Non-probate assets are IRAs, 401(k) accounts, 403b accounts, annuities, and life insurance policies. These assets are bequeathed to Monroe, LA-area beneficiaries in a unique way. A written form identifying the selected beneficiary must be completed before which non-probate assets are transmitted. Such assets do not shift to beneficiaries through a will or the traditional succession process unless the beneficiary is the estate itself. Listing the estate as the beneficiary for non-probate assets is problematic because it can have negative taxation ramifications, especially for tax-deferred accounts such as 401(k) plans and IRAs.


Non-Probate Assets in the Context of Estate Planning in Monroe, LA with Niswanger Law; image of Estate Plan in blue on ipad sitting on top of files on lawyers desk

You need an estate planning attorney in Monroe, LA, on your side to ensure your hard-earned assets are distributed to the appropriate parties without an arguably punitive tax burden. Niswanger Law is here to provide guidance that sets the stage for your assets to be bequeathed without unnecessary taxation or family drama.

An Explanation of Non-probate Assets

Non-probate assets are assets that are strictly in your name yet have a transfer on death or payable on death designation. The following assets also fall under the umbrella of estate planning:

  • Assets an individual owns at the time of death in a revocable living trust
  • Assets owned in unison with a spouse through joint ownership (known as tenancy)
  • Assets jointly owned with a spouse/another party with a right of survivorship

The purpose of delineating non-probate and probate assets is to determine how they are dispersed after death. Non-probate assets are transmitted to the appropriate party without a will. Yet, the contract language that determines such passage and unexpected contingencies can lead to hurdles requiring the assistance of Niswanger Law’s estate planning attorneys in Monroe, LA.

Alternatively, probate assets are those that lack an official beneficiary. These assets either can’t be held jointly or were simply not held in such a manner. The removal of a beneficiary designation leads to a probate asset’s creation, setting the stage for it to be granted following the language of a trust’s terms or those of the last will and testament.

Trusts in the Context of Non-Probate Assets

A trust can be named as the beneficiary of your non-probate assets. The caveat to this approach is that listing a trust as the beneficiary of your tax-deferred accounts will create some income tax hurdles. Niswanger Law’s estate planning attorneys are here to help you plan accordingly and complete beneficiary forms for comprehensive estate planning that minimizes your family’s tax burden moving forward.

Schedule a Consultation With Niswanger Law

Our Monroe, LA estate planning attorney will help you navigate the maze of estate planning. Schedule an initial consultation with Niswanger Law and we will help you plan for the fair distribution of your assets exactly as you desire. Be proactive by starting the estate planning process today, and you will rest easy knowing you have done your part to prevent a successful challenge to your will and safeguard your family’s financial future. Give us a call at 318.953.0071 to schedule a consultation with a Niswanger Law estate planning attorney in Monroe, LA.