Probate is intended to divide your property and assets according to who you designate it to, but it can be a daunting and imperfect process. After a person has passed away, probate is the legal procedure that is settled in a probate court regarding an estate. Avoiding probate can be done, and below we have listed some of those ways:
- Create a revocable living trust. A revocable trust is created by the trustor who allows a third-party, know as the trustee, to manage property or the assets of the trustor for the benefit of a beneficiary. It allows you to avoid probate entirely because the property and assets will be distributed through the trust. In probate there are additional fee and costs that are deducted from the estate which can sometimes be a large portion of the total estate. With a living trust, these fees and court costs can be avoided all together.
- Set up your beneficiaries on your retirement and bank accounts. Most people don’t realize that many of our most valued assets allow them to name beneficiaries for their bank accounts, investments and retirement plans. You would need to request and fill out the payable on death forms that your brokerage company or bank can provide. This ensures the proceeds are dispersed immediately at death without having to go through probate.
- Small Estate Affidavit for estates valued under $100k. If a decedent’s estate is valued under $100k and does not include any real estate, the estate may be able to use a small estate affidavit and avoid probate.
Here at DAL Law Firm, we can discuss all of your options to avoid probate and decide which option is best for you and your family. Having an experienced attorney by you can put your mind at ease about the process and many options. Give us a call today for a consultation (206) 408-8158; we look forward to assisting you.