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Can you avoid going through probate?

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Firm News |

Probate is the legal process of distributing a deceased person’s assets. While it is a common procedure, you might want to avoid it due to the time and costs involved. You may find it helpful to consider some ways to bypass probate in Florida.

Create a living trust

A living trust allows you to transfer assets into the trust while you are alive. Upon your death, the assets go directly to your beneficiaries without going through probate. You can manage the trust during your lifetime and specify asset distribution.

Designate beneficiaries

For certain assets, like retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and bank accounts, you can name beneficiaries. These assets transfer directly to the named beneficiaries upon your death, bypassing probate entirely. Make sure to update your beneficiary designations regularly.

Joint ownership

Holding property in joint ownership with the right of survivorship allows the property to pass directly to the surviving owner upon your death. This method works well for real estate and bank accounts. Ensure the joint ownership arrangement is clearly documented to avoid any potential issues.

Use payable-on-death and transfer-on-death designations

You can add payable-on-death (POD) or transfer-on-death (TOD) designations to your bank accounts and securities. This allows the assets to transfer directly to your named beneficiary when you pass away, without the need for probate.

Planning ahead to avoid probate

Avoiding probate in Florida requires careful planning. By being proactive, you can ensure your assets transfer smoothly to your loved ones. Proper planning helps save time and reduce stress for your beneficiaries.