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How to avoid unnecessary probate costs?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Firm News

Estate planning helps families to avoid the probate process in Easton, Maryland. Families can spend a lot of money on probate court fees. Estate planning allows the decedent’s property to go to the designated person without substantial costs.

The probate process

The probate process allows local or state courts to make decisions about probate property. Without estate planning, the spouse usually gets about half of the estate, while the other half goes to family members. The court allows time for family members to contest the decision, and creditors may step forward to regain debts. The heirs will have to spend the time and money for the proceedings, but there are ways to avoid probate costs.

Transfer property to a trust

A revocable living trust allows people to bypass the probate process. The property in a trust doesn’t have to go through the probate process and goes directly to the heirs. The owner is usually the trustee but can appoint someone. Most assets and property can enter a living trust. The trust allows a person to name alternate beneficiaries, and there’s no waiting period.

Set up Payable-on-death registrations

A payable-on-death account allows a person to name one or more beneficiaries of the account. The accounts are usually free to create, and beneficiaries can easily receive money after the death. Adding beneficiaries is something that doesn’t come standard to the account. Most banks and brokerage firms allow people to add beneficiaries with the required forms.

There are other options for people to avoid unnecessary probate costs. Making a tax-free gift allows a person to change property ownership. The tax years of 2020 and 2021 allow heirs to receive up to $15,000 per person. Joint ownership allows the property to transfer to the other owner without going through probate.