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Avoid probate by transferring assets early

Although you are not yet elderly, you have wisely decided to begin planning your estate. Everyone needs an estate plan, even if you are young and in good health. One benefit of planning your estate early is that you can take steps to avoid probate.

Probate, or the process of distributing your assets after you die, can be time-consuming and expensive for your surviving loved ones. One way to spare them from this process is to transfer your assets while you are still alive.

  • Own property jointly

If you own property jointly with someone else and you establish right of survivorship, then the property will not pass through probate. Upon your death, you simply cease to own it, and the right of ownership transfers to the other person.

  • Create revocable living trusts

In a revocable living trust, a trustee holds assets for your benefit, though you can revoke the trust at any time. The assets that you put in a revocable living trust is no longer part of your estate, so it is not subject to probate.

  • Give gifts

If you pass property or assets in the form of a gift, the state will not subject it to probate. You can give these gifts to anyone—friends, relatives or even charities. Giving away certain piece of property while you are alive is an excellent way to ensure that parts of your estate is distributed as you would like it.

Transferring your assets

Estate-planning should not be rushed into or taken lightly. Many people in California work with an estate planning attorney to learn more about transferring their assets to avoid probate. You must carefully consider how to handle your assets and property to benefit your loved ones and circumvent probate.

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