5 Ways to Avoid Probate

Posted by Joseph Franks on March 4th, 2020

Probate is a legal process for distributing assets of a deceased. The judicial system will take over your property after you die, and then divide it among heirs according to a will; the court has the right to decide the fate of your property in the absence of a last will. The probate law varies from state to state, but it is generally a tiresome and time-consuming procedure. Depending on the size of an estate, it can be over within a few months, or extend to several years. Conflicts multiply if one or more individuals contest your will. The longer the process takes, the higher are the associated charges, such as executor, attorney, and administrative fees. Your successors may have to bear hefty costs before retrieving their inheritance

  1. Create a Living Trust

Probate Law Attorney in Massachusettssuggests that a revocable living trust is the most straightforward way to avoid probate. You have to transfer all your assets under this trust, which is managed by an appointed trustee. Upon your death, the trustee shall directly hand over the assets to your beneficiaries. The court cannot intervene and your property retains confidentiality. As the asset information is private, no outsider can contest your trust.

  1. Give up Assets

This may sound extreme, but it is a smart move to distribute assets while you are still alive. This shall come off as a relief to your family as they won’t have to fight for their right in probate court, whilst wasting valuable time and money. You can maintain a fraction for yourself and give away the rest to your intended heirs. This shall substantially reduce the amount of property that goes through probate, and hence simplify the proceedings; you also get out of paying several taxes.

  1. Payable on Death accounts

You can assign beneficiaries to your bank accounts, including savings and retirement funds. This is called POD (pay on death) account, and the nominee/nominees have no right to the assets before your demise. It is a convenient option that hardly requires filling and submission of a form to your bank. The money will be transferred to your beneficiary after you die and the account will be closed.

  1. Establish Joint Property

Demonstrating shared ownership over property is another shortcut method to sidestep probate. Many states allow partners or spouses to establish a joint title, so when one of them dies, the other gains possession over all assets without any courtly interference. The only drawback is that the last survivor among the couple then acquires full control and can use the resources as he/she wishes to. It is totally up to them if they split the funds with anyone else you might have requested.

  1. Own a Small Estate

Some types of real estate are exempt from probate, but the legal requirements differ from state to state. Consult a real estate lawyer in your area to learn if your property qualifies. You can liquidate or sell large estates and invest in smaller properties instead. In most areas, assets that are valued below ,000 are probate free.

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Joseph Franks

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Joseph Franks
Joined: September 16th, 2019
Articles Posted: 102

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