How to avoid the probate process

The importance of estate planning cannot be overstated, which is why being aware of common mistakes and the best methods for avoiding them is essential. For Michigan residents currently involved in the creation of wills and trusts, devising legally binding documents is crucial to avoiding probate and ensuring one’s final wishes are upheld.

According to Forbes, there are a few steps you can take that will help circumvent the probate process. Devising a revocable trust, which is a document that outlines who will receive assets upon the document holder’s death, is a popular method of avoiding probate court. Undertaking the proper steps when creating a trust is important to ensure assets do not end up in probate despite the best attempts otherwise. For instance, assets must be transferred to the trust itself in order to be valid.

Making use of beneficiary designations is another option when in search of methods of side-stepping probate. These designations can be used to distribute things like life insurance policies to a chosen beneficiary, and unlike including such policies in within a will beneficiary designations do not need to be reviewed by a probate court.

However, when it comes to beneficiary designations there are a few important things to remember. Fidelity recommends that designations are revisited over time to ensure they remain up-to-date. Major life changes can affect the validity of a named beneficiary, and failure to update accordingly often leads to conflict and anger among those who feel they were left out unfairly. A total estate plan must be in accord to ensure that it remains valid, and also to prevent court involvement.