Nobody wants to talk about dying, but it is still an inevitable truth, and it is essential to plan what happens after you pass away. We all wish to pass on a property or other asset to our children or other loved ones. One can do this by creating a will with the help of an estate planning attorney.
Probate is a lengthy process. It can take several years for your children to receive your inheritance after you die. However, certain tips and tricks can help you avoid probate or shorten the process.
Tips to avoid probate
- Give away property.
You can avoid lengthy probate by giving away your property as gifts to the people you love or as charity. However, remember not to give everything away because you would require some of it to live on. Ensure that you mention which property is to be given to whom so that the recipient does not claim an asset that you did not intend to provide them.
- Write a living trust.
Writing a living trust is one of the best ways to avoid probate and its costs. A living trust is nothing but an alternative to a will. In a will, the person’s assets are divided upon your death. A living trust means your assets will be put “in trust” with a trustee who would then be in charge of distributing assets between the beneficiaries. Therefore, a living trust lets you avoid the probate process entirely.
- Jointly own properly.
Joint ownership of a property is what it sounds like. It means the property is not owned by one but two or more people. Here, if one of the owners dies, the property remains in the hands of the other owners. Make sure the property’s legal documents have the names of all the owners. Some types of joint ownership include:
Joint tenancy with right of survivorship.
Tenancy by the entirety.
Community property with right of survivorship.
- Make a will.
While a will does not necessarily avoid probate, it can certainly shorten the process. A will is a legal document stating the person’s wishes upon death. It contains a list of your assets, the names of beneficiaries, and how you want them distributed. Since it includes detailed information on how you wish to handle your assets after your death, it makes probate a lot easier.
Whether you have small or big assets, estate planning is necessary, and the listed options are available to you to avoid probate. Nobody wants their kids and family members to wait for 4-5 years to receive what they deserve. Estate planning can reduce delays, costs, as well as maintain privacy. Hire an attorney today.