here are numerous estate planning tools and options available to any individual seeking to plan for his or her future. Choosing beneficiaries and determining how your estate will be distributed after your death are two of the most important aspects of estate planning. By taking steps to safeguard your estate, you are protecting it and its value for the future. Even with a will, your estate could end up stuck in probate with heirs and beneficiaries fighting over what they believe is rightfully theirs. If you want to improve the odds of your exact wishes being upheld, you are going to want to take steps that will allow loved ones to avoid the costly and time-consuming probate process. Getting your estate into the hands of those you love can be relatively straight forward with these sound probate avoidance strategies:
- Prepare a revocable living trust which addresses how your estate is to be handled while you are still alive, what will happen if you become mentally incapable of acting on your own behalf, and what will happens to your assets and property after you die.
- Designate beneficiaries on each of your bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts and insurance policies. With these separate designations in place, assets held in these accounts will be able to be transferred directly to your beneficiaries.
- Set up joint ownership of property, with rights of survivorship or tenancy. If your property is owned jointly by you and a loved one, so long as rights of survivorship are clearly delineated, it is entirely possible for probate to be avoided. There are some instances when probate is unavoidable even with joint ownership and your estate planning lawyer can advise you of these particular scenarios.
- Gift property and assets to loved ones ahead of time. If you do not own any property or assets at the time of your death, there is no estate to probate. This is a very effective way of transferring assets to your heirs while saving them the frustration and cost of probate. If you want to pursue this particular probate avoidance strategy, your lawyer can help you set up a trust that will allow you to receive monetary support for the remainder of your life.
- Smaller estates, with no property, are not required by law to go through probate. Assets from this type of estate can simply be transferred by affidavit.
If you are interested in finding out how you and your family can benefit by avoiding probate, a Boulder estate planning lawyer from our firm is available to answer any questions you may have. Estate planning issues and probate can be very complex. With Flatiron Legal Advisors, LLC on your side you will not have to go through it alone. We will be by your side every step of the way, helping you determine the estate planning tools most suited to your personal objectives. Our lead lawyer has an Excellent Rating on Avvo and has received numerous recognitions for the results he has achieved. Contact our firm now to discuss your options and get the estate planning process started.