What to Know About Avoiding Probate in Florida
One of the main goals of estate planning is to avoid the probate process as much as possible. Probate can easily get drawn out, resulting in higher court expenses and a longer time passing before heirs are able to receive their inheritance.
Here’s a quick look at some of the most important things to know about avoiding probate in Florida:
- Living trusts can be beneficial: Living trusts can be used to bypass probate for just about any type of asset, from physical assets to real estate to bank and retirement accounts. You must officially transfer ownership from yourself to the trust, and you can retain control over those assets as the trustee of the trust during your life.
- Payable on death designations: Florida allows payable on death designations to some bank accounts. You maintain control over all money in the account—the beneficiary has no claim over the money until you pass. Upon your death, the beneficiary can assume control over that money without having to go through probate.
- Joint tenancy: Florida allows two forms of joint tenancy: joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and tenancy by the entirety. In the former, any property held by one owner automatically passes to the surviving owners. The latter has the same stipulations as joint tenancy with rights of survivorship but is only for married couples, who automatically assume control of marital assets.
To learn more about the various methods of avoiding probate under Florida estate law, contact an experienced Tampa attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law with your questions.