If you are looking into creating or updating your will, chances are you are familiar with probate court and what it does. Upon your death, your assets are required to go through probate court where their ownership is transferred to the people you have designated. Some people think probate is a long and annoying process. It halts transferring items and assets and can take a great deal of time. However, even with a will, there are several different things that can skip right over probate and into the hands of their rightful owners.
Revocable trusts and the assets they entail are the most well-known item to skip probate. Some people are hesitant to create a trust, even though they are a safe and responsible alternative to living wills. Along with trusts, some real estate may also be able to skip probate. The exact requirements for real estate to skip probate may vary from state to state, but in Florida, if it is owned with a Right of Survivorship it avoids probate. Life insurance and retirement accounts with designated beneficiaries also avoid probate, as well as any bank accounts with a payable on death benefit.
Discussing final wishes, creating a will or trust, and designating beneficiaries can be a difficult and confusing process. With the help of a trusted estate planning attorney, important assets can be made to avoid probate and make it into the hands of your loved ones in a timely manner. Having a plan for your estate should be as important to your attorney as it is to you, and finding a reliable and experienced attorney is key to making that happen.