Having a Will Is Not Enough
If you are asking the question, "How Do I Avoid Probate?" you are probably already aware of the potential headaches, expenses and conflicts that the probate process can bring. You may also know that careful estate planning can help prevent probate or make it less painful. Although many people think that having a will can prevent probate after their death, this is generally not true. There are ways to avoid probate, and we can help you find and implement them.
At Godbey & Associates, we have helped hundreds of clients plan their estates in a way that simplifies estate administration, reduces or eradicates estate tax obligations and efficiently moves assets where they belong — to loved ones and worthy causes. Contact us to get your questions answered.
Strategic Estate Planning Now Can Prevent Problems Later
Our experienced Ohio estate planning attorneys can help you develop an effective personalized strategy for avoiding probate and preventing problems with your estate after you pass away. There are several common methods for doing this:
- Gift your assets while you are alive: The law allows you to give a certain amount of your assets to loved ones, charitable causes or others while you are alive, which will get those assets out of your estate.
- Re-title your assets: One way to avoid probate is to re-title your assets — bank accounts, investment accounts, real estate and other property — so that they technically no longer belong to you. This can be accomplished by setting up a transfer on death (TOD) or payable on death (POD) beneficiary designation or joint tenant with right of survivorship arrangements that pass on an asset automatically upon your death.
- Put your assets in a trust: Putting your assets into a trust is another way to keep them from being subject to probate when you die. When appropriate, you can put your house and other property into a trust that can be administered by someone you trust, and then passed on to a beneficiary.
Make sure your beneficiary designations will not cause problems: Examine your beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, annuities and other assets to make sure they will not subject you to probate. For example, if you are divorced, be sure your ex-spouse is not still listed as a beneficiary on your life insurance documents.
Contact an Experienced Cincinnati Probate Lawyer
The attorneys of Godbey & Associates can advise you regarding probate and how you and your family may be able to avoid it through strategic estate planning. Contact us for a free consultation with an experienced probate and estate lawyer who will evaluate your situation and devise a strategy tailored to your situation.