You work your whole life to provide your family with a healthy, comfortable life. After you die, the last thing you want is for your assets to be tied up in probate when your family needs them most. Probate is the court process of authenticating your will (if you have one) or the administration of distributing your assets if no will is present.
Even if you have a will, you are not safe from probate. Let’s review some tips on how to completely avoid probate and leave your family with the support they need after you pass.
How to Avoid Probate Completely
The probate process can take months to prove your will and adequately distribute assets to the correct beneficiaries. During this time, your family is not able to access funds they may desperately need now that you’re gone. If you want to free up your assets and make them available immediately after death, you must prepare properly in order to completely avoid the probate process.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Create a Trust: When you transfer your assets into a trust with an executor, nothing changes when you pass away. Bills are paid, and properties and funds are held within the trust whether you are alive or passed on. Leave instructions in the trust on when beneficiaries should receive their inheritance, whether in increments or as they meet specific guidelines.
- Name Beneficiaries with Clear Intent: Include a letter of intent when you name beneficiaries. Another reason why probate drags on is from a family member disputing a beneficiary. Write why you chose the beneficiary so no one can claim you were coerced into including them.
- Own Properties Jointly: If two people own a property, the living co-owner is still the owner when the other passes away. You will not have to worry about your properties entering probate when the joint owner remains as the owner. Buy properties with your spouse or business partner to avoid probate at your time of death.
The unexpected can happen at any time. It is important to be proactive with these plans so you have them in place before it’s too late.
Prepare for the unexpected with an iron-tight estate plan. Do not assume that everything will fall into place after you die. That grave mistake could lead to your loved ones scraping by and fending for themselves after you pass away.
If you are ready to get the peace of mind you deserve knowing that you and your family are protected, give us a call. We can discuss options for avoiding probate and preparing your estate for unexpected circumstances. Contact us at (951) 445-4114 or at [email protected] to learn more about how we can help you plan today for peace of mind tomorrow.