The estate planning process includes not only drafting your will but also establishing other important records, such as advanced directives and guardianship declarations. In the state of Florida, most estates pass through probate after the estate owner’s death. If you are looking for solutions to avoid a lengthy probate process, you have options.
There are a few ways to keep your assets out of probate after your death.
A living trust holds designated assets and transfers those assets to designated beneficiaries after your death. You can transfer all of the assets in your estate to a living trust to keep them out of probate. You can add and remove assets from the trust as you wish, which allows you to keep it current as your investments and belongings change. Anything added to the trust becomes an asset of the trust instead of your estate, so there is no probate process necessary.
If you buy a home with your spouse or you wish your home to transfer to your child upon your death, naming the designated person on a survivorship deed automatically transfers ownership of the property to the surviving individual upon your death. This ensures that your home, often your most valuable asset, stays out of the probate process.
These are two primary ways to avoid probate after your death. The right estate plan with a living trust and a survivorship deed will protect the transfer of your assets and save your loved ones from a potentially lengthy probate process.