Estate Planning: Ways to Avoid Probate

If you never die, you don’t need to avoid probate. Figure out immortality, and you’ve got this problem solved!

If you’ve had to go through this process after the death of a parent or close relative, you know how painful, costly, and time-consuming probate can be.

The probate process is less painful in some states than others, and it does have the benefit of certifying title to assets, so there won’t be any squabbling about them later.

Give Your Stuff Away Before You Die

This one seems really simple, but it is incredibly effective and often very cheap for everyone involved.

Not Being Wealthy

What is a big deal is the capital gains tax rules. This is a big deal if you’re giving away real estate or investments with a low-cost basis.

Joint Ownership

This is really just another method of giving your stuff away; it just happens at death instead of before.

Leave It to Your Spouse

They don’t get a step-up in basis on joint assets at your death, but that seems a fair trade-off for all the other benefits.

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