Probate is a court process that commences after you die. It ensures your debts get paid, and your property goes to those you named in your will.
Waiting for the court to allow the distribution of your estate may create an undue financial strain on your heirs. However, not all assets need to go through probate. Discover some of the options that may allow you to pass an inheritance to those you love quicker.
Joint accounts and property
One of the quickest ways to ensure your family can access cash after you die is by maintaining joint bank accounts. This allows the co-signor on the account to continue accessing its contents after your death with no waiting period or restrictions. If you want to pass a piece of real estate seamlessly to an heir, add them as a co-owner on the paperwork.
Trusts are not only for the ultra-wealthy. A trust account is a holding place for assets you deposit to remain until you die. At that time, the beneficiary of the trust, the person or persons you named when you established it, will get access to its contents. Trust accounts allow you to set the terms of the trust distribution. A common example of this is putting an age threshold on a child’s trust. This action ensures he or she reaches a mature age before getting access to the money.
When creating or revising your estate plan, you may want to consider adding one or more of these tools. Doing so will grant your family direct access to money at a time when they may need it most.