When you leave a will behind, your estate must go through probate. It can be an expensive, time-consuming court process, and your loved ones must wait until the end to gain ownership of their inheritance. In addition, your estate may be exposed to certain adverse possibilities during probate, such as executor misconduct.
Fortunately, there are ways to bypass probate while achieving similar results to what you intended with a will. It can save your beneficiaries the headaches and uncertainties associated with the process.
The top ways to skip probate
You can hold property jointly with your loved one. When you die, the joint owner will automatically assume ownership. Alternatively, you can use payable-on-death (POD) accounts to pass assets directly to loved ones when you are gone.
You can also avoid probate with a trust. In fact, it is sometimes the best way to go about it since there may be risks associated with the other methods of skipping probate.
For instance, when you make your heir a joint owner or use PODs to transfer assets to them, you do not have any more control over what happens to these assets. The surviving owner is legally recognized and can sell or transfer the assets to third parties.
A trust helps you overcome these challenges. You will have more control over how trust assets will be managed, while your beneficiaries will enjoy the asset-protection capabilities of a trust.
Make the most out of the available options
When making your estate plans, it helps to understand the various tools at your disposal and how they can help you achieve your objectives. It can go a long way in ensuring your loved one’s interests are secured and save your estate a fortune.