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How can I avoid probate?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2019 | Firm News |

The whole goal of creating an estate plan is to provide a smooth transition for your loved ones after you die. If your estate ends up in a Florida probate court, this will hold things up. It can even drag out and tie up your assets for quite some time. With careful planning, you can often bypass probate and ensure that your estate distributes without delay. 

Nerdwallet explains that your estate will go through probate if you have assets you own individually or that you have not otherwise set up to transfer upon your death. So, if you only have a will, for example, to distribute your assets that only you own, the court needs to review your will to ensure it is legally solid and to oversee the distribution of your assets to your heirs. 

An ideal way to ensure your estate stays out of probate is to title assets jointly. When you and another person own an asset and you pass away, the other person automatically gets ownership under the law. You can also leave assets in a trust, which solidifies the legal aspect of transfer, which does not require probate. 

You can also convert financial accounts to pay-in-death accounts. This means they will automatically pass to your beneficiary when you die with no probate needed. 

You may also be able to avoid probate by keeping your estate small. Under a certain value amount, the state will not mandate probate. So, you can give away assets now or transfer ownership now to reduce the value of your estate to avoid the process. This information is for education and is not legal advice.