How do I avoid probate?
You can prevent your estate from entering the probate process by:
- Jointly owning assets: your half of the ownership automatically transfers to the other person if you pass away
- Moving assets into a Revocable Living Trust: assets within a Living Trust avoid the probate process
Much like a Last Will, a Revocable Living Trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to designate who will inherit your property when you pass away. However, unlike a Last Will, assets within a Living Trust avoid the probate process.
You can put most assets into a Living Trust, including:
- Real estate, such as a home or rental property
- Financial accounts, such as savings or checking accounts
- Business ownership, whether it be complete or partial ownership of a business
- Investments, such as stocks or mutual funds
- Personal property, such as vehicles
Generally, assets within a trust can reach your beneficiaries much quicker than assets distributed through a Will. Also, adding your assets to a Revocable Living Trust may lower the cost and time it takes to distribute your assets after death.
Those with relatively straightforward estate plans or who don't have many assets may not need a Living Trust. Instead, they may wish to use a Last Will and Testament to distribute their assets and name beneficiaries.