How To Avoid The Costs Of Probate

Even if you have prepared a will, the probate process could cost your family some of their inheritance. Any conflicts and disputes can drive that cost even higher. At Kinley & Styskal, we understand you want to take all the worry off your family's shoulders after your death. To do so, consider some of these measures to help you avoid the costs of probate altogether.

1. Name Beneficiaries On Your Life Insurance And Retirement Accounts

Assets such as your bank account, life insurance policy, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds can be passed to the individual of your choice simply by naming them as the beneficiary. If most of your assets are in these types of accounts, you could transfer them outside of the probate process.

2. Add Other Names Onto Your Property

If you already know that you want to pass your property onto one person in particular (a spouse, for instance), add their name onto the property with a right of survivorship. If one owner dies, the other owner would then take on full ownership of that property automatically, eliminating the need for probate.

3. Take Advantage Of Trusts

Some trusts operate on a completely different system, allowing a trustee to manage your assets for the benefit of any beneficiaries or heirs. Our attorneys can walk you through the various kinds of trusts available to you — including charitable trusts, dynasty trusts, irrevocable trusts, special needs trusts, testamentary trusts and more. However, be sure to fund your trust while you are still able to do so.

4. Keep Your Estate Plan Up-To-Date

While some aspects of your estate plan may have to go through the probate process, you can minimize the burden on your family by keeping everything up-to-date with any changes in the law, the economy or in your personal life. Be sure to update your estate plan when you acquire new assets, have a change in your family, a substantial law is passed or another major change takes effect. This will help to ensure there are no disputes or disagreements that lead to probate litigation once you pass.

Everybody's situation is unique, and requires tailored counsel to meet all of your needs. Our estate and probate lawyers in Tustin have over 40 years of experience at their disposal to help address all of your personal, familial and business goals. Call 949-423-6783 to schedule your free initial consultation, or reach out online to get started.