Why and How to Avoid Probate

By: Erum Kistemaker

Why and How to avoid Probate?:

  1. Reason to Avoid Probate – Probate requires filing legal pleadings and court papers, appearance at court hearings, and representation by a licensed lawyer, probate in Florida is expensive and lengthy. Families typically must wait six months or more to complete the probate legal process and receive their inheritance.
  2. Estate planning techniques to avoid – File for a simplified probate (Summary Administration), creating living trusts, joint ownership or joint tenancy of real property, making gifts, using Florida “Lady Bird” deeds, transfer-on-death registration for securities, payable-on-death designations for bank accounts, and beneficiary designations for life insurance policies and retirement accounts. Each method has its own benefits and considerations, so it’s important to consult with an attorney to determine the best approach for your specific situation.