3 Ways To Avoid Probate

There are many families who find themselves fighting over the estate after the death of a loved one. These families may not have had problems before the death, but once an estate is divided, it can also divide the family. Probate is when a family disputes a will, and must have possessions divided through legal means. It is important that to avoid future contention as much as possible, before you pass away. Here are 3 ways you can help your family.

1. Gifts

Every year you are able to give monetary gifts up to a certain amount without the receiver being taxed on it. This means that instead of giving away all of your estate when you pass away, you can start gifting the money earlier. This way the family cannot dispute the gifted amount, and you can see them enjoy their inheritance.

In addition, you can also gift belongings and personal property. If you have a special heirloom that you wanted one child to have, you can give it to them before you pass away. That way no one will fight over it after you have passed, because they were there when you made the choice to gift it.

2. Joint Tenancy With Right of Survivorship

Another great way to avoid probate is to instigate joint tenancy with right of survivorship. What this means is that you have someone on your bank account, house, property, car, etc., who is a joint owner. They do not, however, have right to the property until they are the survivor, meaning you have passed away.

When you do this the account, property, or whatever you have right to survivorship over will pass straight to the individual.

3. Be In Sound Mind When You Make The Estate Plan

One of the easiest ways to dispute an estate plan is to claim that the individual was not in sound mind when they created it. A child or trustee, might go to the court and claim that you didn't know what you were doing, or were under distress when you signed the estate plan. For this reason, you should make sure that you create the estate plan while you are in sound mind. You should be healthy and clearly able to make your own decisions. This is why it is best to make your estate plan early on.

These are just three ways that you can protect your estate plan. For further questions get expert help with people such as Davis and Mathis.

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