If you are interested in avoiding the expense and time involved in having your estate pass through probate, an estate plan that focuses on probate avoidance should be one of your primary goals. While many people know that probate is required before new owners can take possession of a deceased person’s property, not all of that property has to be probated. Here are the three main types of property that can avoid probate and which should serve as important parts of your probate avoidance plan.
Jointly Owned Property
Some jointly owned property, such as tenancy by the entirety and joint tenancy with right of survivorship, doesn’t have to go through probate when one of the co-owners dies. However, after the last remaining co-owner becomes the sole owner, the property will have to be probated.
Pay on Death Property
Property that pays a beneficiary upon the death of the owner, does not have to pass through probate. Life insurance policies, some bank accounts and even vehicle registries allow for transfer on death benefits which completely avoid any probate requirements.
Revocable living trusts often form the center of any good probate avoidance plan. These trusts allow you to transfer your property to the trust while still retaining the benefit of being able to use it. Once you die, the trust can then transfer the property to new owners without having to go through probate.