Probate can be a long process, so it's best if you're able to avoid it. Probate can take months or years to be resolved, and it can cost thousands of dollars. The longer it takes, the more it will cost overall.
When someone leaves behind assets for heirs, that individual likely wants them to receive as many of those assets as possible. A long probate process puts those assets at risk. That's why it's important to plan now to avoid probate at all costs.
Transferring assets to avoid probate
There are several ways to transfer assets and avoid the probate process. One of them is to create a revocable living trust. Another is to own property jointly. Giving assets away as gifts may also be a good way to avoid the probate process.
What is a revocable living trust?
A revocable living trust allows you to transfer property to an individual through a trust. The trustee holds that property until the conditions of the trust are met. Revocable trusts can be changed at any time.
Why is joint property ownership a good idea?
When you own property with someone else, that person automatically has a claim for it. For instance, if you and your daughter have shared ownership of a home, the home will automatically move into her name if you pass away.
Is giving gifts a good idea to avoid probate?
Giving away your property before death does help avoid the probate process. Consider giving away gifts in small amounts over time so your loved ones can avoid gift taxes.
These are a few ways to avoid probate. Your attorney can inform you about the best ways to prevent probate and to save as many assets as possible for your loved ones.
Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding the Probate Process," accessed Sep. 21, 2017