Probate is a court supervised procedure that is set in place to identify assets owned by a deceased person, distribute assets, and identify creditors and beneficiaries. The laws of each state vary when it comes to probate.

Probate can take a long time. Probate is typically a slow process. A minimum of six months is usually required. Even routine uncontested probates can take several years to complete. While the probate drags on, the beneficiaries and heirs wait to get their distributions. Probate is a process that will essentially end up costing your family more money.

Want to avoid probate? Here are some ways you're able to do that:

  • Create a revocable living trust (RLT) and transfer assets into it;
  • Hold property wiht one or more other persons as joint tenants with rights of survivorship;
  • Execute a transfer on death deed for real estate and pay on death document for financial accounts and securities;
  • Complete beneficiary designations for life insurance and reitrement accounts naming someone other than the estate;
  • Give property away to the intented beneficiaries before death.

Listen to this video to learn more about probate - and how you can avoid it.