Is Probate Necessary In Florida?
One of our biggest goals, with most of our clients, is to avoid probate completely. Most people don’t want the courts dealing with their affairs and they don’t want their estate documents to be public record. By using instruments like trusts, pay on death accounts, or enhanced life estate deeds, there are many different ways that we can avoid the probate process. The average probate costs anywhere from three to ten percent of the net assets of the estate.
In the event that you didn’t plan to avoid probate before you passed away, it is very difficult to avoid probate after the fact. There are not many changes that can be made to a person’s estate after they are gone. If a client comes to me and their loved one has already passed away and there are assets to deal with, probate is necessary. If you are coming in, trying to plan your estate to make sure everything is taken care of, then probate is not necessary and should be avoided.
What Are My Options To Avoid Probate?
The most common way to avoid probate if you don’t own any real property and own only bank accounts, is a pay on death or transfer on death account. An option for real property in Florida is an enhanced life estate deed, a joint tenancy, or some other type of deed change. I do not recommend this for almost any client. Playing with deeds ultimately gives up a lot of control over the properties you own. The vehicle I use for most of my clients is a trust because it gives us the ultimate flexibility while you are alive. You can make all the changes you want while making sure that all your assets are protected, easily transferred, and will avoid probate.
One of the big benefits of a trust is that the successor trustee doesn’t have to wait until you pass away to be able to use your assets for your benefit. If you become incapacitated, you can continue operating under the same original trust, with the same bank account, because the trustee will easily have access to all of your funds and be able to make decisions for you.
For more information on Necessity For Probate In Florida, a free consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 546-7755 today.
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