Think You Are Able To Avoid Probate? Three Common Mistakes We See

MAR Blog 3

Did you know there may be several tools you can put in place to avoid probate, at least in part? Due to the notoriously lengthy and often expensive nature of the probate process, many seek ways to avoid it. Unfortunately, however, there may be mistakes made which render these efforts ineffective.

Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Avoid Probate

Let us take a look at three common mistakes we see when someone tries to avoid probate.

  1. Thinking a last will and testament will be enough. Many people operate under the mistaken assumption that having a will in place allows them to avoid probate. Although a will can be valuable at accomplishing many of your estate planning goals, avoiding probate is not one of them. A will does go through the probate process.
  2. Forgetting to update a trust. Some individuals look to use something, such as a revocable trust, to avoid probate. Assets held in a properly structured trust will likely pass outside of the probate process. Unfortunately, however, people commonly forget to update this type of trust and newly acquired assets are never transferred into the trust. The assets that fall outside of the trust will likely be subject to probate proceedings.
  3. Relying on the wrong type of trust. Not every trust type can help you avoid probate. For instance, a person may want to have a will that dictates assets held upon his or her death be transferred to a pour-over trust. Putting such a provision in place will not help you avoid probate. The will providing for the establishment of the pour-over trust will go through probate.

There can be a great deal of value in establishing a will and properly structured trusts. These may be just a few examples of the valuable estate planning tools you can put in place to meet your goals. If one of your goals is to avoid probate as much as possible, you may want to consider seeking trusted legal counsel to help ensure that an effective plan is put in place to accomplish this.

Contact The Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen Today!

Our office can assist you in developing a comprehensive estate plan designed to meet your goals, such as avoiding probate. Please call the Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen at (202) 895-2799 to schedule a time to meet.