The last thing you want to do for your family is to make things more difficult when you die. When creating an estate plan, you may want to consider lessening the time your will spends in probate court.
Probate court is the process through which your will travels. The time spent in probate depends on how large your estate is, the amount of debt you have and the terms of your will. You may find it interesting that not every asset you have passes through probate. Discover some of the ways you may lessen the financial burden on loved ones after your death.
A trust is a depository you create for property and cash. Through it, you take those things out of your possession and place them for holding in the trust. Once you die, the trust account passes on to the person or persons you name as the trustees. This type of account does not go through probate court since the items no longer belong to you when you die.
Jointly held property
When you own property or accounts with someone else, they are co-owners. When you die, unless you specify otherwise in the property documents, the surviving owner assumes total control. This concept allows you to directly pass accounts and property to the people you want to get them without going through probate.
Retirement accounts and insurance policies
Insurance policies require you to name a beneficiary when you establish them. The same holds for retirement accounts. Upon your death, these policies pay directly to those you designate. You cannot alter these beneficiaries in your will.
Probate may cost your family time and stress. Creating other avenues for inheritance may prove a significant relief to those you leave behind.