Strategies to Avoid Costs Associated With Probates
Sometimes, it’s in the best interest of people planning their estate to do what they can to avoid probate.
Here are a few examples of some of the strategies you can use to avoid probate.
- Use a trust: Revocable living trusts can be used to bypass the probate process. Trust property is not probated, meaning it will pass directly to your beneficiaries pursuant to your trust. You can remain trustee to keep total control of your property so long as you are alive and have capacity to make decisions over your assets.
- Make gifts: You can make gifts to your chosen beneficiaries while you are still alive. This reduces the amount of your taxable estate, helps you avoid probate on those assets and allows you to enjoy the effect your gift has while you are still alive. Sometimes, though, gift taxes may apply to those gifts.
- Use payable on death accounts: Payable on death accounts allow you to name a beneficiary who will take over the account as soon as you die. Assets in that account bypass probate if a proper beneficiary designation was made.
- Use right of survivorship: If you own certain pieces of property with another as joint tenants with full rights of survivorship, that property will pass directly to the co-owner, rather than going through the probate process. The survivor will then become 100% owner of that property.
For more information about probate avoidance techniques, contact an experienced estate planning lawyer at BaumannKangas Estate Law.