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4 ways to avoid probate

There are many reasons why a Tennessee resident will want to avoid probate for their heirs. For one, probate is a lengthy and expensive process. Secondly, it exposes your heirs to public scrutiny as it makes their inheritances a part of the public record. Below, we will focus on three ways of helping your heirs save time, money and headache by skipping probate proceedings altogether:

-- Create a living trust: By placing valuable property and financial assets under the ownership of a trust, Tennessee residents can skip probate for their heirs. The heirs will confidentially receive the assets from the trust as the trust paperwork describes.

-- Use pay-on-death accounts: Estate planners can convert retirement accounts and bank accounts into pay-on-death accounts. As soon as the owner of the account passes away, the money and assets will be distributed to heirs identified as beneficiaries on the accounts. No probate is necessary.

-- Joint property ownership: You can sign a joint owner onto the title of ownership on your property. Any property held in joint tenancy like this will be transferred to the full ownership of the other person automatically upon the death of the other person.

-- Give your property away: Finally, giving your property to heirs while you're still alive will also render probate unnecessary for that property. You will also get to experience the joy of giving these gifts to heirs.

At the law office of Mary C. Lagrone, we are highly familiar with these and other strategies for probate avoidance, which can eliminate the need for probate or reduce the burden of probate by making the process simpler for heirs. We can discuss a Tennessee estate planner's situation to determine the most appropriate probate avoidance strategies given his or her situation.

Source: Mary C. Lagrone, "How to Avoid Probate," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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