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How Can You Avoid Probate?


Even though probate is a valid, and often necessary, legal procedure, it is not always wise to go through probate. By following several pieces of key advice, you, and your heirs, can avoid probate. 

What Is Probate? 

The term “probate” refers to the act of reviewing a deceased individual’s assets and, then, distributing those assets in a manner that is legally sound.

On the surface, probate is both a necessary, and effective, step in the distribution of a deceased individual’s assets. But, with that being said, probate is quite taxing and not always necessary. 

Why Should You Avoid Probate? 

Right before a deceased individual’s assets can be distributed, they will go through probate. By going through probate, a variety of things will happen:

  • The assets will be divided and organized.
  • Debts, taxes, and fees will be paid off.
  • The assets will be distributed to those who are entitled to these assets.

Before the assets can be distributed, though, they are held by the court. For this reason, none of the assets that a deceased individual has left behind can be distributed, until probate has concluded.

The exact length of time probate can take is dependent on numerous factors. Regardless of the factors at play, though, it will likely take at least six-months before an heir can receive their inheritance. 

How Can You Avoid Probate? 

No matter who you are, or the assets you own, you can set up your estate in such a manner that probate can be completely avoided.

By doing so, your heirs won’t have to deal with any complicated legal situations. And, in turn, they will not be kept from their inheritance for a long period of time. 

Work Directly With A Florida Estate Planning Attorney 

The best thing you can do, to prevent probate, is work directly with a Villages estate planning attorney. By doing so, you will be able to understand your situation and, in turn, what needs to be done.

Right after you finish working with a Florida estate planning attorney, you will have a secure estate that is ideal for your situation, as well as the situation that your heirs may find themselves in. 

Develop A Revocable Trust 

The act of establishing a revocable trust allows an individual to set aside assets that they wish to distribute in the event of their death. But, this revocable trust, and its contents, can be established while that individual is still alive.

A revocable trust that remains intact and updated will come in effect when the individual who created the revocable trust passes away. Rather than going into probate, the assets will go to the named beneficiaries. 

Designate Beneficiaries For Your Accounts 

To ensure that specific bank accounts do not need to go through probate, you can designate specific beneficiaries for those accounts.

The act of designating beneficiaries ensures that those accounts, and their contents, are given directly to the beneficiaries. This ensures that there is no need for probate.

Speak To A Florida Estate Planning Attorney 

A solid estate is the key to avoiding probate. Speak to a Florida estate planning attorney today and we will assist you in ensuring that your heirs will not need to go through probate.  The Villages, FL, elder law attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group can help you.




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