Lessening The Grip Of Probate On Your Estate

8 July 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog

In general, probate is inevitable. Only those with very small estates will manage to avoid it entirely. However, you can still do quite a lot to keep property away from probate's grips. Read on and find out how simple it can be to lessen the grip of probate on your estate.

Better Than a Will

If you are seeking an estate method that does nearly everything a will does but better, then a trust may be right for you. Trusts can be either irrevocable or revocable and they allow the creator to leave property to beneficiaries just as a will does. A trustee is appointed to oversee the trust rather than an executor. However, a trust has several benefits over a will such as:

  • Trusts are not public instruments and do not need to be filed with the probate court or anywhere else. That means everything within the trust is private and only the trustee knows all the provisions.
  • Any property held in the trust stays out of probate, even if the same piece of property is mentioned specifically in the will. A trust has legal precedence over a will.

Dealing With Deeds 

Many times, real estate makes up the largest portion, value-wise, of an estate. You can protect your real estate and keep it out of probate court by making simple changes to your real estate deed. Deeds can be altered to include the names of those you want to inherit the property along with your name. In many states, however, a living lawful spouse cannot be denied a share of the estate's real estate. Speak to your estate lawyer about these deeds that are often known as estate trusts or right of survivorship deeds.

Bank Accounts Can Be Transferred

Lastly, a quick and easy document completed at your banking or investment institution can keep your funds away from probate and make them available to your loved ones quickly. Known as payable-on-death or transfer-on-death, these documents automatically transfer funds in savings, checking, retirement, stocks and bonds, and other accounts directly to those named on the forms when the owner passes away. In most cases, bank accounts are frozen once the owner is deceased. However, an account with these designations can be disbursed or transferred to a named beneficiary as soon as the death certificate is presented to the institution.

To learn more about any of the three estate moves mentioned above, speak to your estate attorney.