Today we're going to talk about 4 ways someone can avoid probate even if their estate is not considered a “small estate”.
Small Estates Avoid Probate
If you're not familiar with this term, estates that are classified as small estates can often go through a shortened probate process or possibly skip probate altogether. However in most cases, folks will need to go through probate when someone passes away.
Why Would You Want to Avoid Probate?
There are a couple of reasons people want to avoid probate.
It's expensive and it takes a long time. Court fees and attorney expenses can take up to 5% of the value of the estate. There can also be fees for appraisals and other things related to the estate. Probate also ties up the property for months and in some cases, years. This means the personal representatives are waiting while all of this gets done to be able to get on with their life.
What is the Attorney Getting Paid to Do?
There is a mountain of paperwork, filing deadlines to be met, and there will be some court appearances involved in the probate process. This is what the attorney is getting paid to do. From personal experience, I have found that people that try to do the legwork themselves just don't know how to do it properly. Most often this results in a big mess someone has to straighten out. It also causes delays in getting the estate settled.
How Can You Find Out About these Properties?
The short answer is that you can buy a list of inherited properties. Be aware that there will be some duplicates or crossover when you compare this list to your probate lists. You will need to remove the duplicates, but you will also pick up some opportunities to buy property that avoided the probate process.
- Small estates
- How joint ownership works
- Gifting property prior to your death
- Trusts – how they are used
- POD accounts
- Inherited properties list
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