Here is the bad news: probated estates are subject to a variety of costs from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts, and state law. Depending on the particular probate's complexity, fees can run into tens of thousands of dollars.
Here is the good news: probate costs can be reduced by avoiding probate. It is that simple.
Here are three simple ways to avoid probate costs by avoiding probate:
1. Name a Beneficiary. The probate process determines who gets what when there is no beneficiary designation. So, naming a beneficiary is the easiest way to avoid probate. Common beneficiary designation assets include:
· Life insurance
· Retirement plans
· Bank accounts with payable on death designations
2. Create and Fund a Revocable Living Trust. A revocable trust owns your property, yet you remain in control of all legal decisions until your death. After your death, the trustee you’ve selected manages your assets – according to your wishes. A trust works well to avoid probate if properly created and funded by an experienced estate planning attorney.
3. Own Property Jointly. Probate can also be avoided if the property you own is held jointly with a right of survivorship. Commonly, a married couple will own their home as joint tenants with a right of survivorship. When the first spouse dies, no probate is needed because the home will automatically pass to the surviving joint tenant spouse. If you are unsure of how your home is owned (joint tenancy, tenants in common, etc.) feel free to contact our office to discuss.
We Have the Tools to Help You
Contact our office today at (952) 658-6503 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll help you decide whether it makes sense to avoid probate in your particular case and, if so, the most efficient way to do so.