Probate versus probate avoidance
Probate versus probate avoidance
There are two commonly used strategies in estate planning, probate versus probate avoidance. Each has advantages and disadvantages like anything else.
Simply put, probate is the way that a person’s estate – their stuff – passes to their heirs. Probate is used to transfer title to any assets you own at the time of your death that
If the person who died left a valid Will, a probate court accepts the Will. The executor then has the authority to go about the business of settling the estate. The court doesn’t have to do much, because the Will and other estate plan documents tell the executor what to do.
The probate court is even more involved if the person who died did not leave a valid Will. The court will appoint an administrator to settle the estate. Without the guidance of a Will, however, the administration of the estate is much more frustrating, time-consuming, and costly.
Either way, probate is a public proceeding and can take several months or years. Because it is a court proceeding, probate often results in family fights. Sometimes, the animosity created by these fights lasts forever.
Many people find that probate is
Revocable Living Trust. A revocable living trust can help you avoid guardianship and
Joint Tenancy & Tenancy by the Entirety. One way to quickly transfer assets to an heir without the need for probate is by making the heir a joint owner or “joint tenant with right of survivorship.” You often see this with the marital home. Couples typically own their homes jointly with a right of survivorship. This method of avoiding probate does have some pitfalls. For example, the assets may be vulnerable to your
Beneficiary Designations. You can add Transfer on Death (TOD) or Pay on Death (POD) beneficiary designations to your financial accounts. Upon your death, the funds in
Let Us Help You.
Ultimately the probate versus probate avoidance is your choice to make. We can help you design a plan that involves probate. If you prefer, we can help you with strategic estate planning to help your heirs avoid a lengthy probate proceeding. At Miller Estate and Elder Law, we thoughtfully evaluate our client’s needs, then craft estate plans that include the best options. Call us at 256-472-1900 or use our Contact
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