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What steps can you take to avoid probate?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2023 | Probate & Estate Administration |

Probate is a process by which someone’s estate is settled after their death. If you have started creating your estate plan in Kentucky, you will want to protect your loved ones by bypassing probate. These are some steps you can take to avoid it.

Gift assets

One way that you can avoid probate is to give assets away as gifts to family members and friends now while you’re still here. Larger assets that are gifted to your loved ones can help you reduce the size of your estate, which can potentially bypass the probate process. You can also donate to the charities of your choice.

Name beneficiaries

Naming beneficiaries on your retirement account, life insurance policy, bank accounts and other financial accounts can help you avoid probate. With beneficiaries named, upon your death, the funds from these accounts can go directly to those people. Be sure to name a main beneficiary and contingent one to avoid problems in the event that your first choice passes away prematurely.

Create a revocable living trust

A revocable living trust can be overseen while you’re still alive. You choose trustees who will manage the trust after you pass, which allows anything held within it to bypass probate. The trust also allows you to plan for the future if you are incapacitated as someone can manage it for you.

Jointly own property

Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship lets you jointly own property with others. If you die, the property automatically passes on to the other person or people who jointly own it with you. It bypasses probate as well.

Probate can cause your survivors to have to wait a long time to get their inheritance. These measures can reduce or prevent the wait.