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Can you keep your estate out of probate?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2022 | Estate planning |

Estate planning can feel overwhelming. You may have many questions, particularly regarding probate and how you can keep your family out of court.

The probate process tends to come with a clouded perception. It is crucial to ensure that everything you set out in your estate plan goes off without a hitch. Diversifying your estate plan to include ways around probate may provide much-needed funds to your family quicker.

What property does probate involve?

Your will becomes the blueprint that the probate court uses to navigate your estate. Your personal representative executes your estate plan and fulfills the legal obligations in the probate code, such as notifying creditors and paying off debts. Your will then tells the executor how to dispose of your remaining property to those you name.

What does not need to go through court?

A widely held misbelief is that everything you own passes through court before your family inherits it. Property such as real estate and bank accounts may have to go through probate, but other things do not. Accounts that feature a beneficiary designation, such as investment accounts and life insurance policies, do not go through the court. The funds disburse directly to those named. An excellent way to quickly pass money to loved ones is by naming them as beneficiaries.

Trust accounts also do not pass through probate, largely because the court does not consider these yours. Since you grant property to the trust to hold, that inventory is no longer in your name and not part of your estate. Trusts are another way to get money or property to people without the court.

When considering how to expedite probate, there are many factors to consider. Speaking with someone who deals with estate planning regularly may prove beneficial.