Many people are looking to avoid probate when creating their estate plan. The process of probate can not only be very costly and lengthy, but it is also a public matter. If youre creating your plan, there are steps that you can take to make sure that you avoid the probate process.
Take a look at some of the information below to learn more. If you have any questions about avoiding probate or if you need assistance with your estate plan, meet with an estate planning attorney.
- Consider joint ownership. While this type of ownership is not for everyone, there are some benefits. One of these includes the fact that the asset is not subject to probate. If you jointly own property with another individual, the asset will automatically be transferred to the co-owner after your death. Many couples choose this form of ownership when purchasing a home.
- Consider opening a payable-on-death account. All you need to do is open a bank account and put your assets in the account. By filling out an easy to complete form, you will be able to designate a beneficiary who will receive your accounts assets after your death. During your lifetime, your beneficiary will not have access to the funds. After your death, your beneficiary needs to show both proof of identity and proof of your death.
- Gift during your lifetime. If you choose to make gifts to your loved ones during your lifetime, you will be eliminating some of the assets that may be subject to probate after your death. Its important to note that you should only gift if youre able to. In other words, dont ever gift assets that you need to survive. If you plan on gifting anyway, this is yet another way to avoid probate.
These are just some of the ways in which youre able to avoid the process of probate for some of your assets. Take a look at part 2 of this article to learn more ways to avoid probate. If you have any questions about the probate process or if youd like to take advantage of some probate avoidance techniques, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.