The benefits of avoiding probate are substantial. Not only will your estate likely save significant money in court costs, estate management fees and attorneys fees, but your inheritors will be able to receive their inheritances much more quickly. When you create an estate plan which focuses on probate avoidance, there are three types of property that your plan will need to focus on.
Any property you own jointly with someone else can be used to avoid probate if that property has a right of survivorship. You will need to speak to your estate planning lawyer about what types of property have this right, but it includes most property jointly owned by spouses, such as the family home.
When you create a revocable living trust and transfer your property to the trust, this property will not have to go through the probate process. However, ensuring that all of your property is properly transferred to the trust is a vital step. If you mistakenly forget to include some of your property in the trust, that property will typically have to go through probate.
Beneficiary or Transfer on Death Accounts
If you have a bank account, retirement account or other asset that allows you to choose a beneficiary, this property will transfer outside of probate. As soon as you die the beneficiary has the rights to inherit the property regardless of whether you have any type of estate plan.