Did you know that probate costs anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 on average? Failing to complete your estate planning documents could lead to your estate going into probate and costing thousands of dollars to resolve.
These high costs are directly related to administration fees, taxes and even attorney involvement when a will or other legal documents aren’t readily available. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to avoid probate if you do the right planning in advance.
Tips to avoid probate
One of the best tips to avoid probate is to put together a trust. A trust can hold all of your assets outside your estate, so that they’re ready to be passed on to your heirs and beneficiaries in the future. If your estate has no assets, then there will be no assets to go through probate.
Combined with your trust, you may want a will as well. While you can do more with a trust, a basic will also gives you the opportunity to describe your wishes and what you’d like to see happen with the assets you’ve left behind.
In combination, a will and trust are excellent for keeping your property out of probate, since you can designate a beneficiary.
Several trusts give you excellent options for avoiding probate
Living trusts, revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts all give you an opportunity to protect your assets and avoid probate. Avoiding probate isn’t the only reason to consider these options, though.
Trusts also help you make your wishes clear by specifically assigning assets to specific beneficiaries. This cuts down on the risk of court battles over your estate.
A trust also takes property out of your name, so that you can avoid high estate taxes if your estate is valued in the millions of dollars. Protecting your property from probate with trusts has perks, which is why it’s a good idea to set one up with the help of your attorney.
Whether you want to create a will or are interested in learning more about trusts, your attorney can help you put together a plan to protect your estate, heirs and beneficiaries.