3 Methods of Avoiding Estate Probate

Going through the estate probate process is something that not many individuals enjoy. In order to get around going through probate court, there are a number of techniques that you can use. Here are some of the methods of avoiding estate probate.

1. Trust

One of the best and most effective ways to avoid estate probate is to utilize a trust. One of the most effective types of trust to use is the revocable living trust. With this type of arrangement, you can put any assets that you want into the trust. At this point, you will still be able to utilize the assets while you are alive. If the assets in the trust generate income, you can take the income and use it how you want to. Then, whenever you pass away, the trustee is going to be able to easily transfer all of the assets in the trust to the beneficiaries that you name. The trust documents will not have to go through the probate court before they can be enforced. This makes the trust a better option than a traditional will for many people that want to get around the process of probate court.

2. Payable on Death

Another technique that you can use is to convert your accounts to payable on death accounts. You should be able to do this with any of your bank accounts as well as all of your retirement accounts. Retirement accounts automatically come with this feature. Whenever you open up a 401(k) or an IRA, you are going to select a beneficiary and specify them on the account paperwork. Then, whenever you pass away, the assets in the retirement account are going to be transferred to the beneficiary immediately and without any problems. 

Most bank accounts do not provide this feature automatically. If you do not specify that you want them to be payable to someone else upon your death, they will enter into the probate process. Therefore, you are going to need to ask your bank about converting these accounts into payable on death accounts. This will allow you to name a beneficiary and the assets will transfer immediately upon your death.

3. Joint Property

Owning property jointly with someone else is another way that you can avoid the probate process. If you own property jointly with another individual, the asset will be able to be transferred immediately to the other person upon your death. This is very common whenever a husband and wife own a home together. Whenever the husband dies, the wife will be able to take full possession of the house without having to worry about the probate court process. With a joint tenancy with right of survivorship agreement, this is going to be the most straightforward method of owning property when trying to avoid probate in the future. You can also utilize a tenancy by the entirety or community property with right of survivorship agreement. 

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