Want To Avoid Probate? Here Are Four Ways To Do It
Probate is a legal process that is sometimes necessary after a person passes away. During probate, the court will identify and distribute the property of the deceased, hear any challenges to a will or another part of an estate plan, and the deceased’s debts are paid. Many people want to help their loved ones avoid probate, as the process can be time-consuming and costly. Fortunately, there are tools that can help your family avoid the probate process. Below, our Volusia County probate lawyer explains what these are.
Transferring ownership of property is one of the easiest ways to avoid probate. For instance, if you transfer ownership of your home to an adult child, the property is entirely removed from the estate and so, it does not have to go through probate. Transferring ownership can pose certain risks so before making any changes, it is critical to speak to an attorney first.
Name Beneficiaries on Certain Assets
Certain types of property will allow you to name beneficiaries. For example, you can name a beneficiary on a bank account by designating it as a payable on death (POD). Once you pass away, the funds will be transferred to the beneficiary directly. Additionally, if you purchase a life insurance policy, you can also name a beneficiary and the policy will not go through the probate process. Naming beneficiaries is not always enough, though. It is important to regularly review and update your beneficiaries any time your life situation changes.
Draft a Revocable Living Trust
During your lifetime, you can draft a revocable living trust and place certain property within it. Trusts are generally not subject to the probate process and so, any property within a trust can be distributed directly to your heirs. You can name yourself as the trustee of the trust, meaning you have the authority to make changes to it. However, you should also name a successor trustee who can administer the trust in the event that you pass away.
While it may not be possible to avoid the probate process entirely, you may be able to reduce the value of your estate. If the estate is valued at less than $75,000, it may qualify for a summary administration, which will simplify the probate process. Summary administration is also possible when someone has been deceased for two years or more.
Contact Our Probate Lawyer in Volusia County Today
Many people want to help their loved ones avoid probate, as the process can take many months, or even years. It can also be very expensive. At Bundza & Rodriguez, our Volusia County probate lawyer can help you draft an entire estate plan that will protect your loved ones, and that could help them avoid the process entirely. Call or text us now at 386-252-5170 or chat with us online to schedule a free review of your case and to learn more about how we can help protect you and your family.