Having to go through the probate process is something that can be costly and complicated. There are some ways that you can help your loved ones to avoid having to go through the probate process. Using these methods can save them time and money.
One thing that you can do is make sure that you have a payable on death designation on your financial accounts. This is something that you can set up on bank accounts and similar accounts. The person who you designate here can access these accounts when you pass away.
You can also use gifts before your death to help your loved ones avoid having to go through probate. This is something that might be subject to limits, so make sure that you find this out before you start just giving out random items to various family members.
Trusts are another possible way that you can help your loved ones to avoid probate. There are various different types of trusts, so you should make sure that the trusts you set up are ones that are going to do what you want them to do.
What draws some people to trusts is that you can set up the trusts how you desire. Want to help finance your granddaughter's wedding in 20 years? Name that as a stipulation in the trust. Want to hand out funds in a tiered manner to your heirs? Set this up using a trust.
Ultimately, your estate plan is something that is a personal choice. You should determine your objectives and then create a plan that will meet those objectives.
Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding the Probate Process," accessed July 14, 2017