Recently, I explained the probate process, as this is a matter many of us are facing due to the COVID19 . I received many questions about whether there are ways to avoid probate or what options are there to help avoid going through this complicated process. The answer is yes, but these are important factors that should be considered throughout your lifetime. 

With the guidance of a probate and/or an estate planning attorney, you can prepare your estate plan to help your loved ones avoid the probate process. Below are some options:

Trust: Setting up a living trust is a fairly common way to avoid probate in most states, including Florida. Once the trust is complete, you can transfer the property/properties to your name or to whomever you wish to designate. A trust can be set up to benefit an individual or a group of individuals. It can also be created for a specific purpose, such as donating to a charitable organization.It is important to mention that when creating a trust, Florida law requires the appointment of a successor trustee. Simply put, this is the person who will take over the administration of your trust after your death.

Proper estate planning is the best way to protect, manage and transfer your assets before and after death.

Estate Planning: Generally speaking, estate planning allows family members to have access and control a person’s affairs. Typically, it is established in cases of illness that prevent the person from taking care of their assets, property, and even health.

It is important to remember that good estate plan should include the following:

  • Instructions for passing on your wishes (religion, education, hard work, etc.) as well as your valuable possessions.
  • Instructions for your care if you become disabled before you die.
  • The name of a guardian and estate administrator for minor children.
  • Life insurance to protect your family financially in the event of your death
  • Disability income insurance replaces a portion of your income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.
  • Long-term care insurance helps cover the cost of your care in the event of an extended illness or injury.
  • Transfer of your business at the time of your retirement, disability, or death.

Whether you have a revocable living trust, a will, a power of attorney, or some combination thereof, you may still have questions about this matter.

My recommendation is that you seek advice from an experienced attorney. Each case is different, and some options that suit others may not necessarily suit you.