You may have heard horror stories about probate or potentially were appointed as an executor in someone else’s estate and learned firsthand the difficulties of closing out someone’s estate. Working with a qualified Virginia Beach estate planning lawyer, you may learn that there are many ways to avoid probate. When you pass away, the state must handle the payment of your debts and the distribution of your remaining assets in a process known as probate.
Avoiding probate refers to removing as many assets as possible, if not all of them out of your probate estate, such that when your executor files Your will in Virginia, the assets will pass to heirs in other ways without the time, expense and possible frustration of probate. One way to avoid probate in Virginia is to establish and fund a trust. If all of your assets are placed inside a trust, they will pass through the trust instead of undergoing probate.
Another way to avoid probate on particular assets is to use payable on death, transfer on death or beneficiary designations to bank accounts and other assets. These designations, when properly filed, allow particular assets you’ve named to pass directly on to your chosen heirs instead of going through the probate process. If you have a very small estate, such as when valued at less than $15,000, it may not be required to go through the probate process at all. It’s a good idea to sit down with a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney to discuss all of your options and which assets in your estate may currently be subjected to probate. This will allow you to make informed decisions about your future planning.
Schedule a meeting with our Virginia estate planning attorney today to start your own process.