Are you looking to avoid probate? Luckily, there are steps that you can take to ensure that your assets avoid the probate process. Avoiding probate will allow your loved ones to get their inheritances quickly. Avoiding probate can also save time, money, and keeps your affairs private.
Take a look at the information below to learn more about some of the probate avoidance options. If you have any questions or if you’d like to discuss a probate avoidance plan, meet with an experienced, qualified estate planning attorney.
- Create a revocable living trust. With this estate planning tool, you will title your assets in the name of your trust. These assets will be distributed to your beneficiaries based on the instructions outlined in your trust document. While it will take some effort to establish a revocable living trust, it is a beneficial option to consider for most persons who have more than a very modest estate.
- Consider joint ownership. You may decide to jointly own property with another individual. In this case, the property will be transferred to the co-owner after your death. This probate avoidance tool is commonly used by married couples. However, this can be a risky decision to make in terms of, among other things, loss of control and unwanted taxes, so you should seek advice from an experienced, qualified estate planning attorney before using this option.
- Open a pay-on-death account. With this option, the assets held in your bank account will be transferred to a beneficiary of your choosing after your death. This is a simple way to transfer money and avoid the probate process. However, it also has some serious drawbacks, e.g., it does not address what happens when you become incapacitated and it can lead to avoidable problems concerning distributions to young, troubled or disabled beneficiaries.
With the right estate planning decisions, you can keep your assets and your loved ones out of the probate process. Take a look at our next blog post (part 2) for more helpful suggestions.
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