For those who are dealing with the possibility of dividing up your assets for your estate, the legal complications behind probate may seem confusing.
However, there are some ways to pass on your estate without hassle.
Gifting ahead of time
If you are sure of who you want to receive an item and do not mind parting with it before your death, giving the item as a gift can bypass probate. The monetary value of the gift does matter, however. If it surpasses a certain amount of money, it is subject to gift taxes.
When one owner of a jointly owned property passes on, the other one is legally the sole owner of the place. This process is automatic once a death occurs, which alleviates the need for interference from the courts.
States with community property have this same situation. Arranging a similar agreement with your spouse, such as tenancy by the entirety, can also be helpful for avoiding probate.
Designating death beneficiaries
Similarly, there are instant processes that occur upon your passing once you arrange for beneficiaries. Your assets are no longer your estate, so it allows for quick transference to your loved ones.
Choosing who to inherit your IRA or 401(k), along with payable on death accounts, can greatly impact how you divide up your estate. As long as your beneficiaries are free to go to the bank to claim their inheritance, it is possible to set up a payable on death account quickly and easily.
Creating revocable living trusts
Revocable living trusts, as the name suggests, could technically get taken back whenever you wish. These trusts belong to the trustee for the time being, but get handed on to your loved ones after your passing.