As an executor of a particular Will or as a beneficiary, settling the affairs of a deceased person’s estate can be a very hectic task especially when the whole probate process is a formal one, so why don’t you just avoid everything concerning probate?
Just before you begin to put this into consideration, let’s take a look at 10 simple ways to avoid probate.
1. Consider joint ownership for real estate:
Just with survivor rights, an individual’s owned property can be transferred to the other owner after the original owner’s demise and this can help avoid probate but you should know that there are 3 major types of joint ownership with survivorship rights which are as follows:
- Tenancy by the entireties
- Community property (only available in some states and they’re for married couples)
- Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship
2. Consider joint ownership for other properties:
When an individual eventually dies, his or her properties held jointly with the spouse can automatically be transferred unto that spouse if it’s clear that survivor rights were intended. This should help you, the executor of your will or the beneficiaries of your estate simply avoid probate.
3. Revocable Living Trusts:
If you know that you have a large estate and also a large amount of beneficiaries, then a revocable trust should be your savior in order to avoid the whole stressful probate process. That revocable trust actually covers three phases of your life which are as follows:
- While you are alive and well
- If you unfortunately become mentally incapacitated
- After you die
After death, those who you have chosen as Trust beneficiaries will automatically gain ownership of the properties left by you and with this, they are able to avoid probate.
4. Give away your properties:
Giving away your properties is actually very risky and it should be one of the most extreme way to avoid probate but gifting someone else your assets by using a special kind of trust should help you easily avoid probate. One of the main disadvantages with this is that you would no longer have the use of that gifted property while you’re still alive.
5. Take advantage of smaller estates:
This would actually make things much more easy for the beneficiaries of your estate and can eventually cancel out the whole probate process, especially when that estate of yours is valued below $50,000 (fifty thousand dollars).
6. Transfer on Death for real estate:
In some states, this method is what most people use to avoid probate as it can help individuals to easily designate beneficiaries if you have life insurance for your real estate via transfer on death deeds or beneficiary deeds.
7. Transfer on Death for securities:
There are some states that have adopted and held on to the Uniform Transfer-on-Death Securities Registration Act for a deceased’s bonds, stocks and other securities. You can avoid probate with this means since the title is simply transferred from the deceased over to the designated beneficiaries.
8. Pay-On-Death Financial Accounts:
Also known as POD accounts, these accounts are actually much more recommended for people since it is better than the joint ownership accounts because it’s only the death of the owner that can permit the assigned POD beneficiary to have rights in the property.
9. Transfer on Death for Motor Vehicles:
You can also use this to avoid probate, as far as you already have a designated beneficiary to the vehicle but what you should note is that this can only work in some states, so don’t forget to make proper enquiries.
10. Make a Will:
Finally, making a Will should always be one of the things to consider because even if it doesn’t avoid the whole probate process for you, it should be able to minimize the cost of the probate process.
Need an estate planning attorney?
If you want to plan your estate, and you need the services of an experienced estate planning attorney, please, don’t hesitate to contact us. Also, if you need help with updating your estate plan, you can contact our office as well. We boast of competent estate planning attorney who can help in creating an estate plan that suits your needs.