When you are having a will written to provide for your family, it can be done in such a way to avoid probate after your death. Probate can keep your loved ones from receiving the money or items that you left them in your will. However, with these five tips, the will can be written to avoid probate.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the process of settling a decedent’s affairs after he or she has passed away. Even if you have a will and name an executor to handle your affairs, the assets may still end up in probate. If probate goes smoothly, the process can still take six to nine months. If there are problems, it can take much longer.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the probate process to save time and money and allow your beneficiaries to get their inheritances quickly.
A trust is a legal entity unto itself so when your assets go into a trust, they are no longer considered yours. Although they may still be included as part of your estate for inheritance taxes and paying creditors, you no longer own the assets. While you can benefit from or control the assets in a trust, the appointed trustee manages them legally so a probate trust in Cambridgeshire doesn’t need to go through the probate process.
Give Away Assets
Probate can be avoided if there are no assets to divide and give to beneficiaries. So, with help from a lawyer, you can give away your assets while you’re alive and retain enough for you to live on. A lawyer can help you arrange to donate your assets so they are not subject to inheritance taxes, which can result in taking back gifts that you gave to organisations prior to your death.
If you have property, you can avoid probate by putting it into joint tenancy with your spouse or another relative. Upon your death, the surviving owner will automatically get the property so it doesn’t go into probate. However, there are risks in joint tenancy and the property will still be subject to inheritance taxes as it would be considered a gift.
Update Beneficiary Information
If you have a pension, then you should update information about to whom the benefit should go to upon your death. If your spouse has preceded you in death or doesn’t need the money, you could name your children or grandchildren as the recipients. If no one is named as a beneficiary when you die, then the pension could end up in your estate and be reduced because of inheritance taxes and probate costs.
Put Assets in Savings
If you keep your assets in savings accounts in several banks, then that money may not need to go through probate. Banks and building society accounts have certain limits that will keep the money from going into probate so you will want to keep track of how much is in each account so they don’t go over the limit.
Talk to an estate planner about using these methods for avoiding probate.