- Bypassing probate
Although there is actually little reason for most people to avoid probate today, the process can often be costly and time consuming. If you feel the size and complexity of your estate warrant taking steps to avoid probate, there are alternatives. You can transfer your assets to a revocable living trust, although this may require much paperwork and significant cost to maintain. You can own assets jointly, where the ownership of the property passes automatically to your joint owner(s). Other alternatives include setting up beneficiaries for your savings and brokerage accounts, and even giving away your property while you're living.
- The probate process: 3 to 9 months after death
- The probate process: 9 to 12 months after death
- The probate process: initial tasks
- Types of post-mortem elections
- Understanding probate