Today I want to talk to you about how to avoid probate.
Hi. I’m Gary DeWitt, the owner of DeWitt Law Firm.
We do estate planning. We do it well. We make it as fast, simple, affordable, and painless as possible.
If you have questions about estate planning or probate, you can setup a time to talk, for free, by going to plan with Gary dot com. The meeting is free.
Avoiding probate is many people’s goal in creating a plan. It’s usually a matter of listening, creating an inventory, and looking at all the possible tools at my disposal then using the best combination. Only experience in planning can create the proper combination.
You want to keep as much of your estate out of probate for several reasons.
First, anything passing outside of probate is not subject to creditor claims in Arkansas.
Second, it is faster and simpler.
Third, probate is expensive and time consuming. You can just assume a probate will cost 6% of the GROSS value of your estate. Debts are not subtracted out when calculating the percentage. So on a $200,000 estate the cost will be around $12,000 and a year of time.
Finally, probate is a paperwork filled hassle for family and loved ones. People are generally filled with anxiety until it is done. A basic probate with a Will has over 100 steps to be done. And that is if everyone signs waivers. Without waivers, the process takes longer and involves even more paperwork.
It’s a matter of picking the right methods to meet other goals. A couple with a special needs child will have a different plan than a couple without children. A stable couple with children will have a different plan than a couple who have children with unstable marriages.
Here are just a few of the ways you can avoid probate, and a few things not to do.
Beneficiary deeds. This is a special deed that leaves property on the owner’s death to who you want it to go to without probate. However it does have some drawbacks.
Trusts. Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid probate is to have a trust created. With a trust you get to put the rules on who gets what, when, how, and how much.
POD. POD is payable on death and is used to transfer bank accounts without probate.
TOD. TOD is transfer on death. TOD is used to transfer things with a title without probate, like cars. The rules are pretty strict on what qualifies.
Beneficiary designations. Beneficiary designations are used on life insurance, annuities, and the like to transfer outside of probate.
A few things not to do include
1.Putting your children on the deed 2.Putting your children on your accounts
You don’t want to do either of these because you run the risk of losing your real estate and money to their creditors, IRS, or lawsuit judgments. Not to mention the Medicaid implications.
If you have any questions on estate planning or probate or want to chat, you can setup a time to talk to us by going to plan with Gary dot com.
Planning gives peace of mind, confidence, security, and certainty in an uncertain world.
You can setup a time to talk, for free, by going to plan with Gary dot com. The meeting is free.