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Avoiding probate: There are things you can do

When creating an estate plan, you need to think about more than what will happen to your assets upon your death. You also need to focus on how these assets will transfer from you to the appropriate person or people.

It's important to learn more about the probate process, as this can take up a lot of time and cost your loved ones quite a bit of money. Fortunately, when you implement a strategy for avoiding probate, you can save your loved ones the hassle upon your passing.

Here are some of the many ideas to consider:

  • Create a revocable living trust instead of a will. With a will, your property will go through probate. With a trust, this doesn't happen. Your goal is simple: to move property into the trust while you are alive, so that it avoids probate upon your death.
  • Death beneficiaries. There are many types of assets that allow you to name a beneficiary upon your death. For example, you will name a beneficiary on your retirement account. With this, the money in the account doesn't have to go through probate, but instead will transfer to your beneficiary after your death.
  • Gifts. Often overlooked, this is one of the most powerful ways to avoid the probate process. In short, you give your property away while you are living. Even though it takes some planning, such as deciding who will receive your property and how much you should give them, it's one of the best ways to avoid probate.

If you want your estate to avoid probate, you need to implement the right estate planning strategy. A simple will won't be enough for this to happen. Instead, it takes a much more detailed approach.

Once you learn more about estate planning, how to avoid probate, and the strategies that you can use, it's easier to decide what to do next. In the end, once you have everything in place, you'll feel better about your current situation as well as what will happen upon your passing.

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