Most states have an exemption level for probate and offer a streamlined process for small estates. In some cases, the amount can be quite substantial, so it is important to check your state's estate limits and consider donating assets to family and friends before you pass away. This can help reduce or even eliminate future state and federal wealth taxes. A revocable trust is a popular way to bypass probate. This type of trust allows you to keep control of your assets during your lifetime and decide how they will be distributed after death, without having to go through probate court.
Your trust can include your home and any other possessions you have, making it a comprehensive solution for your entire estate. After you pass away, the person you choose as trustee will simply distribute the property as indicated in the trust. Creating a revocable trust is not the only way to avoid probate. You can also use joint ownership, payable-on-death accounts, and transfer-on-death deeds. Each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to do your research and consult with an estate planning attorney before making any decisions. Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process, but there are ways to avoid it.
By taking the time to plan ahead and create a revocable trust, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away.