How to Avoid Probate for Everyone
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Learn how to prepare your estate and avoid costly mistakes
Want to avoid probate? Gleaned from his forty-four years as an estate attorney, Sharp describes the probate process and the many reasons why it should be your last resort in estate settlement methods in How to Avoid Probate for Everyone. Living trusts are important, but there are many alternatives to using a living trust for probate avoidance. These alternatives are explained step-by-step as Sharp delves into the details. Examples of such approaches include:
- While state laws vary, most allow for expedited procedures for low-value estates without having to create a trust.
- There are a dozen different ways of leaving assets to heirs automatically at death.
- Special types of deeds allow you to keep control of your real estate during lifetime yet transfer it to heirs automatically at death.
- There are several ways of titling vehicles that allow heirs to get them without court procedures.
- Beneficiary designations on bank and investment accounts keep them out of your probate estate.
- Joint ownership of accounts and real estate can solve inheritance problems.
- Common myths and misconceptions about estates and probate are debunked.
Trusts are covered in detail, including a section on must-use trust provisions to cover common complications and showing how a trust can easily resolve these. Joint and single trusts are examined and issues, such as how to handle personal property items, are suggested. (For instance, who gets the piano?) By avoiding probate court-supervised adult guardianship and conservatorship, families can avoid embarrassing and time-consuming incompetency hearings in court. Samples of the described documents are also included to give the reader an idea of what the paperwork actually looks like. Sharp’s matter-of-fact explanations will prepare any reader to take the necessary steps to prepare their estate with confidence and avoid probate.