Probate can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, even under the best of conditions. However, your family may not need to endure probate if certain actions are taken before your loved one passes.
Here are some ways you and your family may be able to avoid probate:
Create a Lifetime Revocable Trust
This must be done while the testator (the person who writes your loved one’s will) is still alive. Assets will be transferred to the trust and won’t pass through probate when your family member passes away.
Since the trust is “revocable,” the testator has the right to change it while he or she is alive.
Pass Assets Outside of the Will
Assets that bypass the will might not have to go through probate. These assets may include those which pass by contract, meaning that they have beneficiary designations that specify who inherits the accounts. These assets include:
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement plans
Downsize the Estate
If the estate is worth less than $50,000, probate is not required. In order to reduce the size of the estate, there are strategies you can use to pass assets outside of the will.
A few ways to downsize the estate are to:
- Fund a 529 college savings account for a family member
- Pay for a family member’s education
- Pay for a family member’s medical bills
If you lost a loved one and you need help with the probate process, our team is here to help. It is not recommended that you handle a situation like this on your own. Having a skilled attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of probate. We have helped many others in similar situations, and we may be able to help you, too.