While researching estate planning, you learn about probate and how it can drag out the time to finalize your estate. Could you skip the process?
NerdWallet explains how to avoid probate and distribute your property quickly. Learn how to ensure your beneficiaries receive their inheritance as quickly as possible.
Distribute your assets while still alive
You do not have to wait to distribute assets to your heirs. By giving your beneficiaries their inheritance while you still live, you reduce your estate amount. Giving assets early could also help with Arkansas and federal estate taxes.
Minimize your estate
If you have a sizeable estate, consider shrinking it. States have estate exemption levels and speed up probate for minor estates.
Set up a living trust
By shifting property into a trust before your death, you transfer it out of your estate. When you set up a living trust and name a trustee, she or he handles the trust contents, not you. You still set the terms for how you want to distribute trust assets.
Own joint property
For property you own, consider naming a co-owner. When you own joint property, the other owner becomes the new owner when you die, all without the probate court’s involvement. Other than joint ownership, you may accomplish the same goal with joint tenancy with right of survivorship.
Establish payable on death accounts
Payable on death financial accounts shift to named beneficiaries rather than go through probate court. Other than financial accounts, you could use a payable on death account to transfer real estate property.
Sidestepping probate could save you money on various estate planning expenses. You and your beneficiaries deserve to reap the benefits of your hard work, not the probate court.