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

When a person passes away, their estate goes through probate. This is a court-supervised process that verifies the authenticity and legality of the person’s will. If there is no will, the court decides who gets the estate based on state law. The executor or personal representative, who is either named in the will or appointed by the court, takes inventory and appraisal of the estate. The court also makes sure that creditors are notified by publishing a notice in the local newspaper. Creditors can make claims, and valid debts must be paid.

The rest of the property will be given to the heirs or intended beneficiaries in about a year.

If you have been through probate, you may know that it is better to avoid it if possible. However, sometimes probate may be necessary or beneficial for some estate plans. But this is not very common.

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