Probated estates require costs from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts and state law. Fees can add up to tens of thousands of dollars if the probate is complicated. But the costs can be reduced by avoiding probate all together. It is that simple.
These simple things can help avoid probate and probate costs:
1. Name a Beneficiary.
Part of the probate process is to determine who gets what benefits when a beneficiary is not designated. Take an easy step in avoiding probate by naming your beneficiary. Some of the beneficiary assets may include life insurance, annuities and retirement plans.
2. Create and Fund a Revocable Living Trust.
Another step in avoiding probate is to create revocable living trust. The trust then owns your property but you are still in charge of the legal decisions until your death. Once you die, your trustee will manage your assets according to your wishes written in the trust. An experienced estate planning attorney can make a correctly created and properly funded trust work well.
3. Own Property Jointly.
If the property you own is held jointly with a right of survivorship, probate can be avoided. Here ae some ways you can establish that joint ownership:
• Community property – property obtained during a marriage in some states
• Tenancy by its entirety – is a form of joint tenancy with right of survivorship, but only for married couples in some states
• Joint tenancy with right of survivorship – ownership simply transfers to other tenants upon your death
Our office can help you determine the best form of joint ownership for you according to your situation and state laws. Different states have different laws and policies regarding joint ownership.
We Have the Tools to Help You
Contact our office today. We’ll help you decide whether it makes sense to avoid probate in your particular case and, if so, the best way to do so.