When it comes to avoiding the Probate Process, there is one thing that is more important than having a Will or a Trust: Making sure all of your property is titled correctly. This includes accounts, policies, real property and the like.
A big concern that a lot of clients have when they come to us is that they want their family members to be able to avoid the Probate Process. One of the easiest ways for this wish to be in vain is not ensuring that assets are not in your name alone. What does this even mean?!?
This means that even if your Will states your house will go to your children, your children will not automatically be able to avoid Probate Court! If you fail to ensure that the property is not in your name alone, your children will be forced to go to probate court- even if only for the house! The same goes for a Trust: If you call yourself putting your house in your Trust but do not ensure title is transferred accordingly- your loved ones can run into the same issue if the property is in your name alone. We have probated too many estates for ONE piece of property! It can be costly and time consuming during an already tough time for your loved ones.
The same concept applies to bank accounts and any policies or investments needing beneficiaries. Failing to designate beneficiaries or leaving accounts in your name alone will give your relatives a one-way ticket to Probate Court! Having the right document is only the first step in the right direction. You must make sure that appropriate designations are in place so that your wishes are truly carried out! Do not get in trouble with Do-It-Yourself (DIY) efforts! Work with a professional TODAY! Give us a call!
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