Probate laws differ from state to state, so it’s essential to be familiar with your state’s laws to make sure what you envision with your Estate Plan will actually be the outcome. That said, here are four suggestions to help avoid Probate in Florida:
- Establish a Trust. Trusts are appealing when it comes to avoiding Probate because property held in trust is not part of your Probate estate upon your death and if executed and funded properly will completely avoid Probate.
- Make accounts payable on death [POD] or direct beneficiary. Bank and other accounts payable on death or with designated beneficiaries go directly to your designated beneficiary bypassing the Probate process completely.
- Own property jointly. Making your spouse or someone else a joint owner with rights of survivorship facilitates the transfer of the asset without the need for Probate.
- Give away your assets before you pass away. This will not only lower the dollar value of your estate, but you will also save your Personal Representative from having to deal with questions that might arise among your heirs that may squabble over an item. This option requires the advice of a CPA so that gift tax considerations are addressed.
Not all of these require an attorney to effectuate but I always recommend getting advice from an attorney and/or your CPA while Estate Planning.
Heidi S. Webb, Attorney at Law, serves clients all over the state of Florida with Estate Planning and Probate. She has offices in Daytona Beach and Melbourne but can meet via phone or Zoom with clients statewide. Contact her today to schedule a free consultation. Visit her page on Facebook or see what her clients are saying to learn more about Heidi at www.heidiwebb.com.