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Is It Possible To Avoid Probate?

The big truth about probate is that it takes a long time. Even the simplest of estates have to wait for months in most cases for probate to be completed. This is not ideal, and if probate is not required for your estate, your beneficiaries will receive their inheritance much more quickly. There are some ways to ensure that probate does not have to happen.

A Living Trust

A living trust is an alternative to a will, with one major difference. The living trust is executed whilst you are still alive. Everything included in it is placed into a trust so that when you die it can immediately be distributed to your beneficiaries. The trust will be managed by a trustee until the time comes to divide it. This avoids probate since, to all intents and purposes, there is no estate to deal with. However, this is not always an ideal solution since, if your property and assets are in trust, you cannot sell them should you need to.

Name Bank Account Beneficiaries

A living trust can be a complicated and time-consuming process, unlike writing a will which is usually fairly straight-forward. Therefore, it is not the right thing for everyone. If you don’t like the idea of a living trust, there are other methods you can use for avoiding probate. One is to look at your bank account, retirement fund, stocks and shares and so on, and see if it is possible to name beneficiaries on them. In many cases, this is exactly what you can do. Why is this useful? It’s because, if a beneficiary is named on a bank account, for example, when the account owner dies, the account immediately passes to the person named. This bypasses the need for probate entirely.

Joint Tenancy

Finally, you may wish to consider holding any property you own in joint tenancy, if you don’t already. Owning a property jointly means that it will automatically pass to the other owner on your death. No probate will be required. You don’t have to be married for this to occur either, as long as both names are on the deeds.

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020 8150 2010

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