FAQ About Avoiding Probate

What is Probate? Before learning about how to avoid probate, it is extremely beneficial for you to first have an understanding of what probate is. Probate simply defined is a court-supervised procedure in which they oversee the property distribution of an individual who has passed away. The process of probate was essentially established to distribute the property according to the wishes of the deceased, while also paying off their debt to creditors. There are a number of details that must occur during the process of probate, the first of which will be to determine who will be the appointment of administrator or the executor off the deceased property. Next they will need to authenticate the Will of the deceased and then inventory all of their property. Once this is accomplished the probate process will seek to find who the beneficiaries and heirs of the deceased and then distribute their property and assets according to the specific laws of the state in which the deceased maintained primary residence.

How can I avoid the probate process? There are a few ways that you can avoid having your estate going into probate, though it entirely depends on the state in which you live as well as a number of other contributing factors. Due to the complicating aspects of probate and estate planning, contacting a probate lawyer immediately is highly encouraged in order to help you through the many steps.

One option that you may consider pursuing is having a revocable living trust established in order to avoid probate. This is one of the more common ways that people will choose in order to avoid probate as well as to keep their estate plans private from the eyes of the public. A living trust will essentially transfer their titles of a property to a trust and the trustee will be the one who manages and receives control of the property once the grantor dies or is otherwise incapable of making decisions any longer. The trustee is then given the responsibility at the time of your death to make sure the beneficiaries receive their parts of the assets as discussed in the trust documents.

There is also an option of filing for joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety in order to avoid probate. If you choose joint tenancy this means that people can share property equally. Perhaps you own a home with a co-owner; if you die then it will leave them to inherit the property as a survivor, therefore avoiding probate because the ownership is clearly defined. Tenancy by entirety is an option used only for married could and it means that the owners share the same invested interest in their property so that when one spouse dies, the other inherits through survival as well.

Lastly, you can simply just establish a beneficiary to your property. As the owner of an account or property, you can choose a beneficiary who will receive the rights to your estate upon your passing. While you are alive these things will remain under your name and in your control, however after death your beneficiary will retain control through a property transfer. Being able to choose this option depends again on what stat you live in, for example, you may only be able to establish a pay-on-death account for your beneficiary to receive, whereas in other states you may also be able to have securities transfer-on-death as well as deeds for real estate or vehicle registration.

Contact a trusted probate attorney to answer any further questions you may have using our website today!