The probate process may take a while, which is not ideal if your family needs financial support during an already difficult time. Fortunately, you have options to work around probate and help your family sooner.
When you sit down to draft an estate plan, you may want to include some tools that bypass the court process and disburse to those you intend. Learn more about these workarounds and decide what may work better for you.
What does probate do?
Unless the value of your estate does not require it, your will goes through court. A judge oversees the executor’s actions in settling your financial affairs. This includes paying debts before your heirs receive what you dictated.
How do you bypass probate?
Your estate may not avoid probate, but you may still get your family money outside of it.
Joint property and accounts
Ownership transfers to the survivor when you co-own bank accounts and property with someone else. If you want to ensure a loved one gets a piece of property, you may want to add him or her to the deed.
A trust is a way to transfer tangible and intangible property to others outside of probate. Trusts require you to take items out of your name and put them into a holding place for the benefit of someone else. Removing the property deposited from your ownership takes it out of your estate.
Insurance policies and investment accounts require you to name beneficiaries. The money from the policy or accounts pays out directly to those you name upon your death. You may even allocate shares to multiple recipients.
While probate ensures that your heirs get what you want them to have, it may take time. Try supplementing your plan with methods to get your loved ones the financial relief they may need.