Even though it is not pleasant to consider your death, creating an estate plan can help your family through a difficult time. A prominent issue after a loved one’s death is access to money during probate.
Since the court process may take a few months, your money and property often remain on hold until completion. If you intend to leave your family money, you may want to explore options to keep it out of probate.
What can a trust do for your family?
A trust account is a depository for a piece of property. It serves to hold anything of value you place into it. The benefits of a trust are far-reaching. For you, it serves to lower your tax liability by taking assets out of your name. For your heirs, a trust gives them immediate access to the property within it upon your death. A trust account is one of the few fiduciary tools that does not need to go through probate.
Is there any other way to bypass probate?
A trust account is not the only thing you can utilize to bypass probate. If you want to give someone real estate, you may add them as a joint titleholder. Any account or item you co-own passes directly to the person or persons named. Accounts with beneficiaries also bypass probate and pass to those named. Insurance policies and retirement accounts are two examples of this.
Thinking about your death is unpleasant, but so is leaving your family in a bind. Taking a few steps now to care for them in your absence can make a difference in helping them move forward with peace of mind.