Are you concerned that your Florida estate will have to go through probate when you pass away? Have you recently completed your will? Good for you! Were you hoping that by having a will your estate might be able to avoid probate? In this blog we will provide tips about what to watch out for when trying to have your estate avoid probate when you pass away.
1. Watch out, a last will and testament is not a guarantee that your estate will avoid probate when you pass away. Your will is a set of instructions for your personal representative, who is chosen by you, to let this person know how you want all of your assets distributed. Those assets may include a house, a vehicle, bank or brokerage accounts or personal items. However, having those instructions written down in your will does not change the fact that your will may be subject to probate. Your personal representative still faces the responsibility of having your will probated, and this could possibly take time and money from your estate. If you want to keep your assets out of probate, you should consider other estate planning tools you can put in place.
2. Watch out, you did not put everything in your trust. Are you now considering another estate planning tool called a revocable trust? A revocable trust may be a good way to avoid putting your estate through probate. Once you have created your revocable trust and put your assets into the trust is your estate safe from probate? Not necessarily. This is when you have to watch out. As your life continues you may sell some assets and acquire others, but you forget to put your new assets into your trust! Remember, only assets in the trust will avoid probate. Any other assets you may have acquired but forgot to put into the trust will have to go through probate.
3. Watch out, you have conflicting information in your estate plan. When your last will and testament is read and it is found that what is in it does not match the terms of your trust, then your trust may prevail. However, any inconsistencies may need to be reviewed by a probate court for final determination.
We believe in a collaborative approach to helping our clients. This means that our assistance does not end with just legal help. We work closely with other senior providers to make sure all our clients’ needs are taken care of from start to finish. Our mission is to make sure every family feels that they have been taken care of, have peace of mind and have someone to lean on during difficult times. Please feel free to contact our office to schedule a meeting time.