Is it possible to avoid probate?

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2023 | Firm News

The court process of administering your estate before handing everything over to your beneficiaries is known as probate. It can be a time-consuming and expensive affair that may attract unwanted attention to your loved ones.

These are just a few reasons you may want to avoid the probate process altogether and seek an alternative way of passing over your estate to loved ones. Below are some of the ways you can go about it.

Joint tenancy of property

Property owned under joint tenancy does not have to go through probate when one owner dies. The remaining owner will automatically assume ownership. However, you must do everything by the book, including changing title designations, for an effective transfer.

Set up payable on death accounts

A payable-on-death account lets you designate beneficiaries who will benefit from its proceeds upon death. You can do this for retirement accounts or life insurance policies to prevent them from going through probate.

Establish a living trust

A living trust is a legal document that allows you to transfer your assets into a trust during your lifetime. You remain in control of the assets while you are alive, but upon your death, the assets are transferred to your beneficiaries without going through probate. A living trust can also provide additional benefits, like a sense of privacy and asset protection benefits.

Understand your options

Although you can avoid probate using these and other methods, each option has its pros and cons, and it is crucial to learn more about how they work. That way, it will be easier to choose the best fit in line with your objectives and save your loved ones the troubles of the probate process.