When Not to Probate a Will
While the probate process can be frustrating and lengthy, it is important that a will be probated properly. It is unusual for a will to not need probate, but it can happen. Your Bryan probate lawyer can discuss with you ways in which to accomplish this, if you feel strongly that it is important.
Alternative Estate Planning
There are certain strategies that can help to keep a will out of probate. If, then, you have a will prepared which does not end up needing to be probated, you have succeeded at these alternative strategies. Keep in mind, though, that laws change and mistakes are made, so your beneficiaries may find it necessary to probate the will even after all your efforts to prevent this.
There are many strategies that have been/are being developed for avoiding probate. A few of them are discussed below:
- Automatic Transfer of Property when You Die: If you have a spouse, you may have had your real estate and other deeds prepared with survivorship provisions. In this way your home, vehicles, and other personal assets are in both your names, and transfer to your spouse automatically upon your death.
- Gifting of Property in Advance: Another strategy is to gift away property in your estate while you are still alive. Tax laws allow you to gift a certain amount of your estate each year over a specific time period. This strategy takes some fairly long-term thinking. In order to keep from having your house cause your estate to be probated, you can deed it in equal shares to your children before you die. You should add a provision which allows you to remain in the home until your death. This is referred to as life estate in property.
- Your Will Is Carefully Drafted to Agree with State Law: If there is no discrepancy with state law and your will provisions, it may not be necessary to probate your will. However, keep in mind that state laws change.
Advanced Estate Planning Can Pay off
People are always trying to find ways to expedite probate or avoid it altogether. Careful estate planning with the guidance of a Bryan probate lawyer is a wise strategy whether you are trying to avoid probate or not. If you are planning your estate, call Peterson Law Group today to arrange a consultation at 979-703-7014 or 936-337-4681.