When you work on your Georgia estate plan, you may want to make efforts that may help your loved ones and beneficiaries avoid probate. Probate is a sometimes complicated process that involves distributing your assets after you die. When assets go through probate, it often leads to delays in terms of when your intended beneficiaries see them. It is also a public and sometimes expensive process.
For these reasons, it may make sense to try to avoid the probate process. To do so, consider taking the following steps.
1. Distribute some of your wealth now
It may benefit you to start giving some of your wealth to your children or other loved ones while you are still alive. This may reduce the amount of your estate that has to go through probate. Depending on the size of your estate, this may also save you money when it comes to estate taxes.
2. Designate certain accounts as “payable on death”
By making certain bank or other accounts “payable on death,” you are asserting that these assets go straight to your beneficiaries as soon as you die, thereby skipping the probate process.
3. Create a living trust
When you place assets inside a trust, they do not factor in when valuing your estate. Assets inside a trust become the property of your trustee, meaning they do not have to go through probate when you die.
Even if taking the aforementioned steps does not help you avoid probate entirely, it should still reduce how much of your estate must go through it.