Helpful Tips For Navigating Probate
Estate planning is far from a straightforward process. To many people, it may not be seen as a necessity. However, when you do estate planning right, you can save yourself and your loved ones a lot of trouble in the future. Probate is the court-supervised legal process in which a will is validated and assets of a deceased person are distributed. When you have to deal with probate, you may have to deal with further inconveniences. As you work on building your estate plan, consider the tips below if you want to minimize the impact of probate or want to find ways to avoid it altogether.
Consider Making Donations
Making charitable donations is a great way to avoid going through probate. Estate planning lawyers often recommend giving assets to individuals or organizations if you do not want to go through the hassle of probate. This allows you to avoid federal taxes as well. You have to make sure that you make this clear in your will by specifying the amount and who you are giving them to.
Appoint Beneficiaries Early
As a seasoned probate lawyer like one at Theus Law Offices can tell you, there are major advantages to designating your beneficiaries. Major life events can happen at any moment. Clearly naming your beneficiaries while you are young and healthy is encouraged so that in case you are incapacitated, the court can refer to your estate plan to see who your assets should be distributed to.
Establish a Revocable Living Trust
A living trust is one of the most popular methods of avoiding probate. If you have a particularly large estate this is a recommended estate planning strategy. One type of trust is the revocable living trust, which can be modified while you are alive. You serve as the trustee until your death, at which point your trust is transferred to an appointed surviving trustee, who is in charge of distributing your assets to your beneficiaries.
Set up Transfer-on-Death for Property
Most states allow you to set up transfer-on-death for any real estate you have. If you intend to pass down your property to a specific beneficiary, this designation automatically transfers your property upon your passing. The beneficiary will not need to go through the probate process. You can learn more about how to set up this transfer by speaking with a probate lawyer.
By taking action to secure your assets and pass them down to your family members, they will be able to receive the assets that you have handed down to them more quickly. Learn more about estate planning by contacting a probate lawyer in your area.