Although a Jeffersonville probate attorney benefits from assisting clients in probate cases, he or she also knows that many clients have the strong desire to avoid this process. A Jeffersonville probate attorney can understand the many benefits of avoiding probate, including saving time and money on transferring assets to their intended beneficiaries and avoiding the public disclosures of a private and confidential nature that probate entails. A probate and estate planning attorney can provide suggestions on how to accomplish your goal of avoiding probate.
Use a Trust
A trust is an important estate planning document. It allows you to set parameters around how and when and to whom you want your assets and money distributed as your beneficiaries. In this manner, it is much different than a will which generally provides for a general outright gift with no conditions attached or no measured distributions over time to protect the beneficiary, and without a spendthrift clause that can protect a gift from creditors and claims. A trust can help you provide for your minor children, establish a custodian for their assets and set guidelines regarding disbursements. The property that is in a trust at the time of death is generally not subject to the probate process.
Use Transfer on Death Designations
Many financial and bank accounts allow an account owner to complete a “transfer on death” or “payable on death” form that only comes into effect upon the account owner’s death. By using this mechanism, you can transfer funds from your checking account and other financial accounts without having them held up by the probate process.
Use Joint Tenancy for Property
Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship and transfer on death (TOD) deeds can help you transfer real property easily. Upon your death, the joint tenant or TOD transferees directly receives your share of the property, regardless if your will says anything to the contrary.