Three Ways to Avoid Probate in Colorado
Probate is the process of “proving” a will. After a person dies, the probate process ensures that an authentic will exists and is valid. The deceased’s assets are cataloged, and the rightful heirs to the property are determined.
Probate fees can cost 5 to 10% of the value of an estate. You have worked hard for your money and want it to go to the people you love upon your death, not to the government and administrative fees.
A Colorado estate planner can help avoid these unnecessary expenses. Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC, has the knowledge and experience to help you successfully plan your estate so that the people who matter can benefit from your hard work.
Here are some tips to avoid the arduous and costly probate process.
A Living Trust
An option other than a will is a living trust. A will distributes your assets upon your death. But, a living trust places your property into a trust that is managed in a way that best benefits your heirs. Because your assets are already distributed, your estate avoids the probate process.
A significant disadvantage of a will is the cost of probate. But, the disadvantage of a living trust is also the expense of it since there are costs associated with its setup and maintenance. Your estate planning lawyer can help you determine which will be most beneficial to your estate.
Naming a Beneficiary to Your Financial Accounts
If you choose a will because it is a more straightforward and direct way to plan your estate, there are ways for pieces of your estate to avoid probate. On many of our assets, you may be permitted to name beneficiaries. You can even designate your bank account to a beneficiary upon death.
Some accounts that allow you to add beneficiaries are as follows:
- Bank accounts
- Investment accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Life insurance policies
- 401K plans
- IRA accounts
Often, the process is straightforward. You can request payable on death documents from your bank and brokerage companies. Fill them out and submit them, and it is usually a done deal. Again, checking with your estate planning attorney first is a good idea.
Joint Property Avoids Probate
A third way that we would suggest to dodge those expensive probate fees is to consider owning your property jointly. The benefit of owning things like real estate jointly is that they never have to enter the probate court system. They effortlessly move to the surviving member of the couple.
Avoiding the aggravation and expense of probate is one of the goals of estate planning. Owning property together is one of the best ways to do it.
You need an Estate Planning Expert
You work hard for your things, and you want your loved ones to have the things that are important to you. An estate planning attorney with Brady, McFarland & Lord, LLC, understands the best ways to avoid probate and ensure your beneficiaries give up as little of your estate as possible to fees and other charges. Contact us today. We can confidently and knowledgeably walk you through the process.