Arlington, TX Probate Law Firm
Brandy Austin Law Firm, an Arlington, Texas probate law firm knows that there are many reasons why individuals may choose to avoid the probate process. They may wish for their heirs to be able to receive their inheritances as soon as possible. They may wish for the estate to not have to pay probate costs. And, they may wish to protect their family’s privacy. Probate is a public proceeding, which means that even after the fact, anyone can access the information contained within the proceeding—the description of each asset, its value, and who inherited it. It will also include the decedent’s debt record. For these reasons, many individuals will choose one or more methods to avoid probate. The professionals of our probate law firm serving Arlington, TX can explain these options to you and provide guidance that will better enable you to make informed decisions.
Assets that Automatically Avoid Probate
Even if the bulk of your estate passes into probate, part of it may automatically be excluded from that process and therefore, out of the public eye. Assets such as retirement accounts, jointly owned property, annuities, and life insurance are examples of this. Working with an Arlington, TX probate law firm can help you to consider ways to avoid probate. For example, if you were to create a living trust, it would be unnecessary to transfer ownership of these types of assets to the trust.
Avoiding Probate by Creating a Living Trust
If you create a revocable living trust, you can transfer ownership of your assets such as homes, undeveloped real estate, savings account, checking account, money markets, and much more. By transferring ownership of those assets into the trust with the help of our Arlington, TX probate law firm, these assets will no longer owned by you. As such, upon your passing they do not have to go through the probate process. Additionally, during your lifetime you will have access to those assets (including selling them or adding others) if you name yourself as the trustee.
Joint Ownership or Tenancy
If you add your intended beneficiary to the deed to your house, then they will automatically inherit your half of the ownership. This is another way to avoid probate. (If there is still a mortgage on the house, then they will be responsible for paying it.) This is often a good solution for assets such as homes, property, and cars, however an Arlington, TX probate law firm cautions that this is not viable for all types of assets.
When the Estate is Valued at Less than the Minimum Value for Probate
Each state determines a minimum value at which an estate must be worth before it is forced to pass through probate. That minimum dollar value varies, but it does not include assets that have joint ownership or tenancy, are owned by a living trust, or otherwise are excluded from the process. Consult Brandy Austin Law Firm, a trusted Arlington, TX probate law firm to learn if the estimated value of your estate is less than the minimum required for probate.