How to Avoid Probate Administration

The process of probate administration can be very tedious and time-consuming. While many estates end up going through probate administration, you can take steps to avoid this process. Here are a few things to consider about avoiding probate administration. In order to understand why you would want to avoid probate, you need to take a look at how long probate can last.

Problems of Probate

Depending on the case, they can last anywhere from six months to two years. If there are substantial assets and numerous beneficiaries, this process could go on for quite a while. A good percentage of the value of the estate can be lost in legal fees and probate court costs. Therefore, if you want to make this process easier on your beneficiaries, you need to do it you can to everything to help them avoid probate administration.

Non-Probate Assets

Your goal is to convert as many assets as you can into non-probate assets. Whenever you do this, your assets will not have to go through the probate process and can be transferred directly to the beneficiaries that you choose. There are a number of different ways that you can go about doing this.

Trust

One of the best ways to convert your assets into non-probate assets is to put them into a trust. By utilizing a trust, you will be able to place your assets into it and continue using them while you are still alive. With this method, you can determine when and how your assets are going to be transferred to your beneficiaries. Whenever you do this, your trust assets will not have to go through probate before they can be transferred.

Retirement Accounts

If you have retirement accounts such as a 401(k) or an IRA, you will be able to transfer these assets directly to the beneficiary of your choice. It is important that you make sure that your account has a beneficiary designation as soon as possible. This way, the assets in the account will not have to go through probate when you pass away.

POD

You can also be sure to establish your bank accounts and other types of financial accounts can be transferred to anyone when you die. This is known as a payable on death account. If you do not specify that you want your account to be transferred to someone else when you die, the money in the account is going to enter into the probate process with any other assets that you have. This means that you have to be proactive when it comes to taking the proper steps with your bank accounts. 

Joint Ownership

You can also avoid probate with your real estate and personal property by utilizing joint ownership. By doing this, you will own a piece of property jointly with another individual. For example, if you own a house with your spouse, both of your names will be on the deed. Then whenever you die, the ownership is going to be transferred to your spouse.

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