A will determines what happens with your assets after your pass. After your death, courts will verify the will and settle the estate according to the will’s contents in a process called probate.
Probate tends to be long and expensive. Alternative forms of estate planning can help avoid this potential outcome.
Create a trust
The most elementary method of avoiding probate is through a trust. With a trust, you place your assets in an account and give instructions concerning those assets. After you pass, the appointed trustee distributes the property according to your wishes.
Own property jointly
Keep real estate away from a probative decision by holding it in more than one name. When two or more people own a home, it typically remains in control of the survivors after one dies. This tactic can work even if you are not married. When joint ownership makes sense, putting all names on the title is best done when closing a sale.
Some policies allow the naming of beneficiaries. This includes bank accounts and retirement accounts. Young people occasionally forget this step when they get their first jobs. Checking with the relevant organizations will verify whether this information is in order. If not, you should complete the necessary payable-on-death forms. Name someone who will receive pensions, life insurance policies, stocks and bonds.
A will is only one aspect of estate planning that can help you dodge the probative process. Use as many as necessary to avoid the fees and loss of control that probate imposes on heirs.