You know that your death will be hard on your loved ones, which is why you'd like to do everything in your power to make your passing easier. If you're beginning to make plans for your assets upon your death, consider the three tips below so your family can avoid the process of probate and get what they deserve.
Consider a Living Trust as Opposed to a Will
To understand why a living trust is better than a will in the majority of situations, you'll first need to understand the process of probate.
Probate is a legal process that requires the proving of a will by the executor of said will. This process can take months and even years to properly iron out, leaving your loved ones with little financial support during a very difficult part of their lives. When you choose to set up a living trust instead of a will, you'll transfer your assets to your trust before passing. Upon your death, the trustee of your trust will then transfer ownership of your assets over to your designated loved ones.
Name Beneficiaries on Your Accounts
Even if you decide to go with a will over a living trust, by naming beneficiaries on your accounts, you can make the process of asset transfer a lot smoother.
By naming beneficiaries on your accounts, you can help them to bypass the probate process entirely. The holder of said accounts, such as the bank or broker, will then transfer these assets to your named beneficiaries upon your death. For best results, don't include accounts with named beneficiaries in your will – this can further confuse the process and result in probate hold ups.
Add a Joint Owner to Your Deed or Title
If you have any property that you're concerned about passing on after your death, consider adding your beneficiary as a joint owner.
This step can be a bit more complicated, as ownership rules vary by state and by relationship (there are different ownership laws for married couples, for example). To better understand this process, and to be sure you choose the best option for your circumstances, consult with a probate attorney. By filing the correct paperwork and getting your beneficiary's name on all of the correct documents, your property can pass to them immediately upon your death with no need for probate or further legal issues.
Planning ahead for your passing can be a difficult and confusing process. With the help of a probate attorney like one from Gruber & Associates, PC, you can make the process easier on yourself and your loved ones. For more information on how a probate attorney can help you, set up a consultation with one today.
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