The Documents Necessary for Avoiding Probate
Probate can tie up an estate for many months after the decedent passes, and prove costly. In order to ensure that your estate does not wind up in probate court, there are steps you can take. A probate attorney in College Station will make sure that you have done all that is necessary to avoid probate, and will help you create the proper documents.
Documents You Should Consider Using
One of the key documents you can use for probate avoidance is a revocable living trust. Any asset placed in the trust remains separate from the probate estate. This is possible because the assets, in essence, pass from your ownership to that of the trust.
For bank accounts, you should consider conversion to payable-upon-death accounts. All that is necessary to accomplish this is to visit your bank and fill out a form on which you list the individual you wish to designate as the beneficiary. The assets in the account simply pass to that individual automatically upon your passing.
You may also consider gifting assets while you are still alive. The value of this is obvious—an asset cannot be subject to probate if it no longer belongs to the estate.
To avoid probating real and other property, you have a couple of options:
- Community Property with Right of Survivorship: The asset passes automatically to your spouse
- Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship: The property passes to the surviving owner automatically
In both of these cases you need to state in writing on the real estate deed, or other ownership certificate, how you wish for the title to be held. Having the title in both yours and the survivor's names eliminates the need for the asset to be probated.
Contact a Probate Attorney in College Station for Legal Assistance