There are plenty of reasons you want to create a stellar estate plan, and
one of those is so that you can
avoid probate. Probate is the process of distributing assets and settling issues of
the will. Avoiding probate is essential, as it can save time and money
for those you leave behind. Probate is also a public matter that can drag
your personal business into the mud.
1. Look Into a Living Trust
living trust is designed to allow your trustee to transfer items to family members
without the difficult process of probate becoming involved. This allows
you to distribute your assets the way you want without spending extraneous
amounts on inheritance fees. An attorney can help you facilitate this.
2. Convert Personal Accounts So They Pay on Death
Converting your accounts (and even IRAs) to
payable upon death is simple, requiring a simple form. Your money is automatically transferred
to a beneficiary without going through probate. Look into state laws to
determine if easy transfer is available.
3. Consider Joint Ownership
If you have no problem sharing legal ownership, this option does not require
more paperwork. For instance, you can operate with a
joint tenancy for property or a home. In certain states, your assets may qualify as
community property as well.
4. Give Away Your Property
The property you give away before you die does not have to endure probate
once you do pass away. Otherwise, a higher value on your assets will mean
that your probate costs will be higher. It is important that you speak
with your lawyer about tax obligations of giving gifts.
Are you looking for help creating a solid estate plan that will hold up?
Contact us with your questions.