Avoiding Probate

We would all like to pass something on to our loved ones when we die. The last thing that anyone wants to do is give a portion of what they have left behind to the government or an attorney. Avoiding probate is possible and here are some tips on how to do it.

A Trust

You can create a trust for virtually anything that you own, including property, vehicles, and bank accounts. Understand, a trust is not a will. A living trust places your assets in trust – meaning your property is held by you or another person for your benefit during life. At your death, the trustee or successor trustee will have the authority to transfer your property to the trust beneficiaries without the need for probate court proceedings.

Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship

Property owned jointly with rights of survivorship automatically passes to the surviving owner when one owner dies. This tends to work well with couples who buy real estate, vehicles, or other valuable property together. Each owner, called a joint tenant, owns an undivided one-half interest in the property.

Named Beneficiary

You can name a beneficiary on your bank accounts, investment accounts, and retirement plans. Even though it’s a simple process, many people don’t take the time to do it or don’t check to ensure that their beneficiary designations are up to date. Payable on death accounts can include insurance policies, pension plans, IRA accounts, stocks, bonds, and 401K plans.

Want to get more information on ways to avoid probate? The skilled lawyers at Stanko, Senter & Mitchell will gladly assist you today!