Either you or your older parents want to prepare your estate. While reading up on estate planning, you learn how long the probate process may take. How can you save your loved ones time?
AARP offers tips for sidestepping probate. While some assets go through probate no matter what, you may develop a strategy for ensuring exempt assets go directly to your heirs and beneficiaries.
Update your accounts
Life events such as birth, death, divorce or marriage call for a financial account review. Specifically, investments and policies with listed beneficiaries deserve consideration. Life changes may require account changes, too. That way, your policies and investments always represent your most current desires.
List a beneficiary
Besides knowing whom you or your parents want as a beneficiary, you must ensure policies and accounts have a recipient listed on them. The cash benefit of exempt assets with a listed beneficiary bypass probate and go directly to the intended recipient. Further, double-check that the policy or account does not list the estate instead of an heir, as assets funneled through an estate must first go through probate court.
Work with estate planning professionals
Legal and financial professionals experienced with estate planning help you understand how to either avoid probate or potentially shorten the process. Probate laws vary from state to state, so work with someone who knows the probate process in Texas. If you cannot avoid probate, your team of professionals may help you explore alternatives.
For peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones, avoid probate where and when possible. Understanding the specific legal procedures helps you protect your estate.