VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

Skip parts, or all, of probate by following these steps

Probate has a terrible reputation, and this is because it can a time-consuming and stressful process for the beneficiaries of an estate. Ultimately, though, probate is just the legal process of executing and finalizing an estate in court. It is simply procedural. There is no inherent bias that makes it "bad." Nevertheless, most people do everything they can to organize their estate in a way that skips or avoids probate. There are some tremendous advantages to doing this.

But what kinds of steps can you take to avoid probate? And how should you organize some of your assets and property to optimize your estate and to help out your beneficiaries? Let us count the ways:

  • Joint property ownership. This is an agreement you make with another owner of an asset or piece of property that transfer full ownership over to the co-owner upon the other owner's death.
  • Death beneficiaries. These act in a similar manner to a joint property ownership agreement. An individual can name death beneficiaries for his or her financial accounts, thus transferring control of the accounts over to the beneficiaries without the interference of probate.
  • Gifting. This is a simple one: you can gift your property or assets to someone before you die. As such, they will not enter probate.
  • Trusts. By utilizing trusts, you transfer the property to a third party. The ultimate beneficiary wouldn't have access to the assets or property until the conditions of the trust are met.

Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding the Probate Process," Accessed Aug. 31, 2017

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