Probate law can be quite difficult to understand. To make matters worse, most of the time it’s not an option you have to worry about at all because your assets are titled properly from the start. However, there are some instances where you’ll need to seek out the help of a probate lawyer Lake Charles, LA to ensure that your estate planning documents are in order so that you avoid probate court altogether after your death. Here’s what you need to know about avoiding probate court through proper estate planning according to Theus Law Offices.
Meet with Your Lawyer
Probate court is a court-supervised process for distributing a deceased person’s assets. The process can be long, expensive, and emotionally difficult for the survivors. But there are ways to avoid probate court. One way is to have a valid will that names an executor who will distribute your assets according to your wishes. Another way is to create a trust that will hold and manage your assets during your lifetime and after your death. You can also transfer ownership of some of your assets, such as your home or life insurance policy, to a beneficiary. If you have any questions about how to avoid probate court, you should speak with an experienced probate lawyer.
Dispose of Assets while You’re Alive
A great way to avoid probate court is to dispose of your assets while you’re still alive. You can do this by giving gifts, setting up trusts, or transferring property to a joint owner. This way, when you die, your assets will already be taken care of and there won’t be any need for probate court. For example, if you want to give your kids their inheritance early on in life instead of waiting until after you’re gone, set up a trust for them. If it’s something that’s not worth the time and expense of going through probate court – like old clothes – give them away now.
Use Trusts Instead of Gifts when Possible
A trust is a legal arrangement in which you (the trustor) give someone else (the trustee) the right to hold and manage property or assets for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary). Trusts can be used to avoid probate court because, once the trust is created, the assets are transferred into the trust and are no longer considered part of your estate.
Have Everything in Writing Before You Die
Probate court is a court that deals with the estate of a person who has died. If you have everything in writing before you die, it will be much easier for your loved ones to avoid probate court. Make sure all accounts are closed, insurance policies and trusts are updated and all valuables are accounted for and then pass on what’s left to your heirs.
In short, to get around probate court try: giving away any unused items during life, appointing someone as executor who does not need guardianship or other protections from creditors, including children’s guardians in the document assigning power of attorney over property and money, including living wills which state how care should be provided if incapacitated; making sure all beneficiaries are listed on life insurance policies; ensuring each beneficiary’s share is known in advance if they receive an inheritance by law or by deed.
Contact a probate lawyer today for help with all of your estate planning needs.