Probate is a situation that many people's estates have to go through after they die. This means that a large portion of the estate could be taxed, and beneficiaries will receive less money or assets than you intended. Today, we will look at four tips to help you avoid probate.
Create a revocable trust. You become the trustee, which means you can still manage all of the property in the trust while alive. Assign someone close to you as the successor trustee. This person would take over as the manager of the trust when you die. A revocable trust and all of the property in it skip probate upon your death.
Convert all of your financial accounts to payable-on-death accounts. This is a relatively easy step because all that is required of you is to complete a form from your bank or investment firm.
Be sure to own property jointly with your spouse. This includes your house, car and any other property you have in your name. When you own property jointly, the surviving spouse retains the property upon your death, preventing it from going through probate.
Start gifting your property to loved ones while you are still alive. Make sure you know the gift tax threshold before doing so or else the gift could be taxable. When you gift property prior to death, it can be done without having to go through probate.
It's not impossible to avoid probate in Fort Myers so long as you follow the four tips outlined in this post. You should always create your estate plan with the help of an experienced attorney.