Five Methods for Avoiding Probate

There are numerous ways a person can avoid having his or her property probated.  The following are some of the most common methods for avoiding probate:

(1) Living Trust - for more information on setting up a living trust see my article on Intervivos Trust a/k/a Living Trusts;

(2) Title real estate as a Joint Tenancy or Tenancy by the Entirety with your heirs - for more information on joint tenancies see my article Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship;

(3) Own real estate through a deed which contains a transfer on death clause;

(4) Name a "pay-on-death" beneficiary for your bank accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, vehicles and retirement accounts;

(5) Own bank accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, and vehicles jointly with heirs.

Although some of these methods may be done without the help of an attorney or accountant, it is recommended that you at least consult with an attorney and accountant about the proper way to set up each method and the tax consequences that might be associated with each.
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