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What are Some Easy Ways to Avoid Probate?

I know you've heard this before, but probate is both a lengthy and costly process. However, there are certain easy planning techniques you can use to provide your loved ones with support during the probate process or in order to avoid these assets being included in your probate estate. Below I've examined some of the easy ways probate can be avoided:

  • Living Trusts: a more in depth look at living trusts is necessary, however in its simplest form, it is simply a vehicle to avoid probate and the costs associated with same. No assets contained in a trust are subject to probate. Trusts can also provide greater control and are easily changeable during your lifetime.
  • Joint Tenancy Bank Accounts: an individual can also set up joint bank accounts with another individual as a means of avoiding probate. The individual who survives the other will be able to access the funds outside of probate.
  • Tenancy by the Entirety: tenancy by the Entirety is a type of ownership designation only available between spouses. Upon the death of the first spouse, any property held by spouses under this ownership structure will automatically transfer to the surviving spouse. It is most commonly found as a means to hold real property, but it is also available for other tangible and intangible personal property.
  • POD (Paid on Death) Accounts: certain accounts may allow you to designate a person who will receive the funds upon your death. Under most circumstances, that individual will only need to provide identification and a death certificate in order to access the funds. These accounts can be used as an easy way to provide liquidity during the probate process or avoid it altogether.

I have just outlined a few of the easy methods for avoiding probate which can be employed in your everyday life. When it comes to estate planning, not everything has to be difficult. If it works, simple is always better than complex. Less probate equals more money in your pocket, which can never be considered a bad thing.

Schedule a consult today to discuss other easy methods of transferring your assets outside of probate.

Categories: Estate Planning, Probate
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