Why would you want to avoid probate? There are two main reasons: Time and money.
Being a court process, probate can drag on for months or even years, not to mention the associated costs such as probate and attorney fees. Therefore, it is in the best interests of your beneficiaries and your estate to avoid the probate process.
Having a simple will does not exempt your estate from probate. If anything, since the will have to be validated, probate is guaranteed. Below, we look at the possible ways in which you can avoid probate.
Set up a living trust
With a living trust, you put property into it but still retain control over them. It means that you can remove property or even alter the terms of the trust as per your wishes. Upon your death, the trustee will then distribute the property to your beneficiaries according to the contract terms.
Establish joint ownership on accounts
Establishing joint ownership is also another way of avoiding the probate process. Holding joint property whereby the other party takes full ownership, like in the case of either owner’s death, will translate to avoiding the whole probate process.
Use designated beneficiaries where you can
Designating beneficiaries on life insurance and retirement accounts will prevent the court process once you are no longer around. Making your accounts payable on death may be advisable if you wish to by-step probate.
Make proper estate plans
Having the proper estate plans will save you a great deal, and it is worthwhile to learn more about the succession law that will work for you, your estate, and your beneficiaries.