If there is one thing we have learned in our time serving residents of St. Paul, Minnesota, it is that people dread the thought of probate. As such, they try to find methods that enable their heirs to avoid this process. In most cases, probate is inevitable, but there are a few instances in which it might not be necessary.
Avoiding probate is often easier for families whose deceased loved ones owned few valuable assets. According to the state attorney general’s office, estates valued at $75,000 or less may escape the probate process. Further, certain assets do not require probate. These may include joint bank accounts and jointly owned real estate.
Our attorneys also suggest asking a legal professional about estate planning strategies that may help with your goals. Most of the time, some of your assets must still be probated, but it is usually beneficial to seek guidance.
Three strategies for avoiding probate
Here some of the top ways people can keep their assets out of probate:
- Transferring your assets into a revocable trust means that they are no longer part of your estate and may escape probate.
- Gifting your assets to other individuals before your death can help, but gifts are often taxable.
- Assigning beneficiaries to receive your assets upon your death can also mean the property is no longer part of your estate.
In many cases, increasing your knowledge of these matters helps to overcome your dread of the estate planning process. Learning more can also help you prepare your representatives and your family if it is not possible to avoid probate. Our website and blog contain much information about probate and other estate planning issues. Continue reading or reach out to us for personalized assistance.