How To Avoid Probate in New York – Part II

trusts and estate attorneyTestamentary Substitutes

  • Payable on death accounts. A payable on death account is a bank account maintained in one individual’s control which has specific instructions about when that individual dies, it gets paid to a specific beneficiary. The beneficiary has no rights until the individual who opened the account dies.
  • Joint ownership of assets. Property in New York held jointly with rights of survivorship means there are usually two individuals who are the owners of this type of property. The property can be real estate or it can be a bank account. When one of these individuals dies, the surviving individual inherits all of the assets. Another type of joint ownership in New York is referred to as tenancy by the entirety. This refers to assets held in the name of a husband and wife. Under a tenancy by the entirety each of the parties are considered to own 100% of the asset. Therefore when one of the parties dies, the other party still owns 100% of the assets. In cases involving either joint ownership with rights of survivorship or tenancy by the entirety, probate of these assets is not necessary.


Probate delays and the expenses related to probating wills can be avoided. If you seek to avoid probate, you should retain an experienced estates or elder law attorney to develop a comprehensive estate plan for you and/or your spouse. This is not something you can successfully accomplish on your own.probate attorney in New York