The death of a family member can be devastating. During their initial grieving, many family members and friends also have to take on the burden of estate settlement, many times through the probate process. If you are thinking about your estate and what happens to it after you die, you can avoid this stressful situation for your family by planning ahead. Here are ways to avoid probate and make it easier on your loved ones.
Avoiding the probate process can help your loved ones focus solely on coming to terms with your loss instead of navigating the court system. Probate often costs a significant amount of money and involves a lot of work and frustrating paperwork. Many people don't realize that even if they have a will, this does not always help your family avoid probate.
Before you die or experience health problems, talk to a probate attorney to get advice about avoiding probate. One suggestion is to create a living trust instead of a will. You'll need to appoint a successor for your living trust. After your death, any assets part of the living trust will go directly to your successor, helping your family stay out of the probate process.
Another option that helps you skip the probate headache is to establish joint ownership of your property before death. Property or other assets that are jointly owned become the other person's sole property after your death. These assets don't need to go through the probate process as long as the other person is alive. It's common to have joint ownership with your spouse or another close family member.
Prevents probate problems
Take action to prevent probate
Planning ahead and understanding what the probate process is all about is essential to keeping your family and friends from the struggle of probate. Wherever you are in your stage of life, it's important to know what your debts and assets are and what happens to those things if tragedy happens. With expert advice from an attorney and a plan, you can avoid the probate nightmare.