When a loved one passes on, the decedent’s friends and family may want to focus on their grieving process, which may make probate difficult. Probate is the process of transferring a person’s assets and estate after they have passed on. Many people are not familiar with this process or even know its basics, but if a decedent is not prepared for probate, their loved ones can take weeks or months trying to administer the estate. You can take steps today to help avoid a lengthy probate process by following these tips:
Minimize your estate
The more assets you have at your passing, the more your estate administrator will need to deal with. By giving away assets while you are alive, you can avoid complicated legal proceedings that can arise in probate. You can also enjoy the added benefit of seeing your beneficiaries enjoy your gifts to them.
Automate your accounts
Many bank accounts have an option to make them payable upon your passing. After doing this, once a bank learns of your passing, the contents of the account will automatically go to the beneficiary without ever having to deal with probate. Automating your account also reduces the time it takes for your loved ones to get the money they may need.
You do not need to give away everything before you pass on. If you make your beneficiary a joint owner of an asset before your passing, they will simply become the sole owner when you do pass on. Establishing joint owners can also combat contestations, as the beneficiary would already be an asset owner.
Start planning today
There is no telling what tomorrow may bring. While the future is unclear, we can take action today to prepare for tomorrow. Do your loved ones the favor of helping them avoid a lengthy probate process and take steps to avoid probate today.