Ways to Protect Your Family from a Probate

Nobody wants to see their families go through the legal process of probate. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. The reason why we work so hard now while we still can is that we want to leave something behind for our families. We want to make sure they are happy. We save and invest because our families depend on us. When we die, whether sudden or expected, it will leave our loved ones heartbroken and exhausted.

If you did not do estate planning in Townsville, your family would likely suffer the consequences. They will have to deal with the probate fees and face a bleak situation where they won’t be able to receive a penny from your estate for months or years. Planning will keep these fees at bay and protect your loved ones from having to go through the rigorous legal process of probate.

Make a Living Trust

A living trust differs from the last will; the latter will have to be verified by courts upon your death. A will merely distributes your properties after you die, but a living trust places your assets “in trust.” A trustee will manage it on behalf of your beneficiaries. There is no need for it to go through the courts because your assets have already been distributed to the trust.

Probate fees can go as high as 10% of the total gross amount of estate (before the debts are paid). You can better use this money by paying trustee fees and burial costs. Your beneficiaries will not have to wait to receive their share if your assets are put in a trust.

Name Beneficiaries

client and agent talking

A lot of people don’t realize that they don’t need a last will to leave their properties to their loved ones. They can name them as beneficiaries on their retirement plans, bank accounts, 401K plans, IRA accounts, insurance policies, and stocks and bonds. This allows your recipients to directly receive the proceeds from these accounts and policies without them having to be probated.

You have to fill out the proper forms from your insurance companies and banks, and you’ll set up your beneficiaries nicely. It’s important to point out that most of these will be owned by your spouse anyway. After your death, most of what is yours will pass on to your spouse.

Transfer Ownership While You’re Alive

Sure, you need to pay the transfer fees, but, in some cases, (for people who are suffering from a critical health condition), transferring ownership while you are still alive makes sense. This ensures that your loved ones get what you want for them to receive when you pass away. It also prevents family conflicts or misunderstandings because you can still explain your decisions on why certain assets must be left to particular people.

So many people avoid talking about estate planning either because they’re not ready to tackle such a highly charged issue or they feel invincible. However, planning and putting everything in its proper place will give you and your family peace. And when that day finally comes, your mind and heart will know that your family is going to be taken care of.