Five Ways to Avoid Probate on Your Estate

Here are five easy and effective ways to avoid probate on your estate. Your beneficiaries will thank you.
  • Set Up Payable-on-Death Accounts at Your Bank and Broker

  • Name a Beneficiary on Your Retirement Accounts

  • Hold Your Accounts in one of the Various Forms of Joint Ownership

  • Create and Fund a Revocable Living Trust

  • Make Gifts

During probate, a deceased’s will is shown to the court. A judge determines if the will is authentic and properly executed. If there is no valid will, the court decides who, under state law, stands to inherit the deceased’s property. The estate is inventoried and appraised, creditors are notified, and a notice is published in the local newspaper. Creditors make claims, and valid debts must be paid.

The remaining property will be distributed to the inheritors or intended beneficiaries in about a year.

If you’ve experienced the probate process, you probably don’t need to be told that avoidance is the best strategy. However, it should be recognized that probate might make sense in some estate plans. But that’s not often the case.

For more information, call the Certified Financial Planner pros at Successful Portfolios (727) 744-3614. And here’s a good book that is an excellent primer on how to avoid probate.