Anyone who is planning how to distribute his/her estate to survivors should be concerned that the ultimate decision is not left up to a probate court. Avoiding probate is relatively easy, assuming one takes appropriate steps. A knowledgeable Texas probate attorney can help you set up your estate in such a manner.
Some Basics of Avoiding Probate
When an estate is left intestate, or without a will, the responsibility for determining how it will be distributed devolves to the probate court. Even if you have a will in place, a probate judge may need to make certain determinations about your estate if you neglect to cover all bases.
For one, any assets should be delineated as “payable upon death,” and have rights to survivorship clearly detailed. This requires that accounts are specified, that that the wording is legal to ensure that the assets in question will pass to beneficiaries.
Specifics of Probate Avoidance
It is important that the titles of homes and automobiles are clear. If one is leaving assets to a surviving spouse, that individual should be listed on titles. For instance, a home title should be changed to reflect a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. On cars, submit an Affidavit of Heirship to Motor Vehicle to the DMV.
Other ideas to consider include:
- Create a durable power of attorney
- Place assets in a living trust
- Make sure all survivors understand your estate wishes/plans
- Keep your will in a safe location, such as a safety deposit box, but make sure that survivors have ready access to it and possess a copy.
Contact a Probate Attorney in College Station for Legal Assistance
If you are concerned about avoiding probate, it is important that you speak with a probate attorney in College Station who understands the intricacies of estate and probate law. Call Peterson Law Group today at 979-703-7014.