If you create a will to designate property that goes to certain loved ones and friends, it might not be as easy as them obtaining those assets immediately after you pass. A will is important to have, but it also has some drawbacks, including going through the probate process. This is the process that requires proving that a will is valid, which can take a long time. Here are some ways to ensure your family doesn't need to go through the probate process.
Get a Living Trust
First and foremost, speak to an attorney to have a living trust written up. This can either be in addition to your will or in place of it. The living trust will include all information regarding who your beneficiaries are, who your assets will go to, and who you want to be the guardian of your children if you pass when they are minors. It is not something you can typically do on your own, so get a good estate attorney to handle it for you. With a living trust, there should be no probate required following your death.
Obtain Joint Ownership of Property
If you already know who you want to take over any property you own, you should get joint ownership now. This includes adding the other person to the title of your property, such as adding your business partner to business property you own, or your spouse or parent to the title of land or houses that you own. This allows them to take immediate ownership if you pass before them, which also avoids the probate process. However, if both of you are in the same fatal accident, probate will be necessary for the next of kin.
Set Up Pay-On-Death Accounts
An alternative is to create a pay-on-death account, where you name the beneficiary who will get assets like vehicles you own or the money that is currently in your bank accounts and investment funds. By naming the person now, the courts have no reason to need more proof that you wished for them to obtain these assets. You can also have transfer-on-death deeds made for the same purposes.
Look Into Probate Shortcuts
Depending on where you live, there might be a probate shortcut available. Find out about these shortcuts now, since it might save your family a lot of hassle. Generally, the shortcuts are available for small estates. So if your only property is a small family home and two vehicles for your spouse and yourself, probate should go very quickly.
If you have any more questions about probate and how to ensure your estate goes where you want after you pass, talk with probate lawyers in your area.Share
24 June 2016
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