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
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.