Drafting a will is without a doubt, one of the most responsible decisions you can ever make. However, creating a will is not always enough. You want to be certain that you will leave as many assets for your loved ones as possible. But how do you do this?
If the cost of putting your estate through probate is giving you sleepless nights, you are not alone. Millions of Americans are concerned too. From court fees to appraisal fees, administrative fees, accountant fees and attorney fees, probate can eat up a significant piece of your estate. Fortunately, there are a couple of steps you can take to reduce the cost of probate or eliminate it altogether and leave more inheritance for the people you love. Here are two such steps:
Set up a trust
By setting up a trust, you will be transferring specific assets to an entity. This means that the assets you transfer to the trust will no longer be owned by you but rather by the designated beneficiaries through the trust. Thus, upon your death, these assets will automatically pass down to the beneficiaries without having to go through probate.
Set up some assets for joint ownership
By setting up something called Joint Tenancy with the Right of Survivorship, you will be reducing the size of your estate, and with this its probate cost. This is because jointly owned assets automatically pass on to the surviving co-owners upon your death. Before taking this route, however, you want to be sure that the heirs you are making joint owners are trustworthy and responsible.
Reducing the cost of probate does not have to be complicated. Find out how you can protect your rights and interests while drafting your will and other estate planning documents.