How to Avoid Probate
Entering probate on a property can be time-consuming and costly. Not only do you end with less inheritance, but it can be tied up in the courts for months or even years. During probate, those without a will have their estate transferred to the next of kin. This may sound like a relatively simple process in the grand scheme of things. However, it is a complex system and requires several court proceedings to make it happen. For the following reasons, you may consider alternatives to avoid probate.
When an estate enters probate, there are numerous court fees that come directly out of the assets of the estate. This can be costly and can add up to as much as 10 percent of your total estate. This significantly reduces the amount of inheritance that you will be able to pass on to your heirs. It can also take away an inherited house if there is a large debt to pay as well.
You do have options when it comes to avoiding probate in Greenville, SC, for your estate. Here are three ways you can avoid this lengthy and expensive process when it comes to dispersing your assets including your personal property and home.
1. Joint Ownership
Having joint ownership of a property can help you avoid probate in Greenville, SC. Through joint ownership, you can pass the rights of a property over to the other joint owner. This means that you have to jointly own the home with the intended heir prior to your death. Therefore, upon your passing, the home’s deed would be transferred directly to them. This eliminates the need to go to probate and pay the multitude of fees.
Obtaining joint ownership of a property does take some paperwork. It is well worth the effort should you pass without a will in place. The property would become yours to pass on. There would be no excessive costs to retain ownership of an inherited house in Greenville, SC. This is a simple and cost-effective way to pass your property on to a surviving family member or friend. It also avoids the process of having a will or filing probate for your estate inheritance.
2. Living Trusts
Another option to avoid probate is to create a living trust before your death. A living trust can be used in lieu of a will and allows you to distribute your estate as you intended upon your death. By creating a living trust, you can put your assets in possession of a trustee. The trustee is required by law to manage your estate in your best interests and take over your property and assets upon your death. This gives you the ability to pass on a house without much hassle.
By using a living trust, you are able to avoid probate in Greenville, SC, as your estate has already been distributed as your wished when the trust was enacted. This helps to eliminate any potential delay, or costs, in handling your estate, which typically takes place when it goes through probate court. Plus, your living trust can help you disperse your other assets, keeping the managing of your estate upon your death as easy as possible.
For your other assets, you do have the option to add a beneficiary that would receive your assets should you pass. This works well on bank accounts, retirement accounts, and stock purchases. These accounts offer you the ability to add a beneficiary anytime during the duration of your ownership of the account.
Typically, all you need to do is fill out a form with your account holder with your beneficiary’s personal information, and upon your death, the accounts will transfer directly to them. Unfortunately, this is not an option for property assets but can help handle your personal accounts that are also a part of the probate process.
Avoiding probate in Greenville, SC, can be accomplished with a little foresight and planning. Using these options, you can eliminate the probate process entirely and ensure your estate goes directly to the people that you intended it to. When you need assistance developing a plan to avoid probate, contact Hearthstone Investors of Greenville, SC. We can help you disperse your assets to your family and friends now so upon your death they do not have to face probate to do so.