Some simple planning can spare families the cost and delay of probate court proceedings after a loved one's death. Probate can drag on for years, and can easily cost thousands of dollars -- money that would otherwise have gone to survivors.
8 Ways to Avoid Probate offers simple and effective methods for skipping the probate process so that property goes directly to the intended beneficiaries. In plain English, it explains:
* setting up payable-on-death accounts * naming beneficiaries, including children, institutions, and multiple beneficiaries * naming beneficiaries for retirement accounts, vehicles, real estate, and stocks and bonds * streamlined probate procedures for small estates * holding property in joint ownership, and alternatives to joint ownership * using a living trust to avoid probate * making gifts of property and money
This edition provides updates to estate and gift tax laws, updated 50-state tables on simplified probate, and additional information on how to bequeath real estate without probate -- nearly 20 states now offer a special deed for just this purpose.