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How can one avoid the probate process?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2021 | Probate |

Settling a New Jersey estate can be a lengthy and complex process, especially if the estate must go through probate. During probate, the court oversees the process of paying remaining debts connected with the estate, distributing assets and more. It can take months or years to complete probate, and it can be costly. People often want to know how to avoid probate for the benefit of their heirs and beneficiaries in the future. 

It is possible to create an estate plan that will allow for the avoidance of probate for the entire estate or some estate assets. If this is an objective for your estate plan, it is critical to understand how to properly implement specific tools in your overall strategy that help you accomplish that goal while also providing other benefits. When making decisions regarding legal and financial plans, it is prudent to have a long-term perspective. 

An appropriate and effective strategy 

There are many reasons why one may wish to avoid probate, and you may simply want to make sure things are as simple and as easy as possible for your loved ones after you pass. You may consider any of the following steps as you build your estate plan: 

  • Establish joint ownership of property, allowing those assets to pass directly to the other owner after your passing. 
  • Establish a revocable living trust, allowing you to set aside and protect assets from probate and for a specific purpose. 
  • Use gifts during your lifetime as a way to pass assets to heirs without probate, as long as you are aware of federal guidelines and potential tax penalties. 
  • Conversion of some type of retirement and long-term savings accounts allow for a beneficiary to access funds without going through probate.  

The ultimate goal of any plan you make for the future should be the benefit of your heirs and beneficiaries. This may also include the goal of implementing a strategy that allows them to avoid probate. 

Confidence for the future 

With the right tools in place, you can feel confident about the needs and interests of your loved ones well into the future. If avoiding probate is one of your primary objectives, you may want to consider how you can use certain strategies to do this while also protecting your wealth and assets. The decisions you make should make sense now and provide long-term benefits for you, as well as your heirs and beneficiaries. 

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