Harrison & Mecklenburg, Inc. Full-Service Law Firm Serving Kingfisher, Stillwater & Watonga

Three Tips to Help You Avoid Probate

Upon hearing the word “probate,” most people shudder and it can be with good reason. Probate has earned a rather unfavorable reputation over the years, leaving many to look for any way to just avoid it altogether. But why? Simply put, probate can be time-consuming and expensive. Probate often takes months to administer and the fees can put a real dent in the value of an estate.

Fortunately, probate is not a requirement for estates in Oklahoma. There are several viable ways around it and all it takes is some careful planning to ensure that your loved ones avoid this legal headache when you pass away.

Intrigued? Read on for some of the best ways to sidestep probate once and for all.

1. Create a revocable living trust.

A living trust has long been held as the easiest way to avoid probate. This is because any property held in your trust is kept separate from your probate estate when you die. By appointing a trustee, you name someone else as the owner of your trust property. This person is then responsible for transferring the trust property to specified loved ones, without probate.

2. Use pay-on-death accounts and registrations.

Before you pass away, take the time to convert your retirement and bank accounts to payable-on-death accounts. Doing so allows the money in those accounts to go directly to your beneficiary all while skipping probate. Filling out a simple form in which you list a beneficiary is all it takes to effectively convert your accounts and eliminate probate.

3. Establish joint ownership of property.

There are numerous forms of joint ownership that enable your loved ones to avoid probate. When someone else is named as the joint owner of your property, the property goes to that person when you die and is kept out of probate. Some of the most common forms of joint ownership include:

  • Joint tenancy with right of survivorship
  • Tenancy by the entirety
  • Community property with right of survivorship

Achieve your best outcome with a Kingfisher probate attorney!

At Harrison & Mecklenburg, Inc., we understand that estate planning can be difficult as you consider the future of your assets and your loved ones. We can offer the comprehensive assistance you need and provide realistic strategies to avoid the complex probate process later on down the line.

Regardless of the value of your estate, don’t put off this issue that has such an impact on the future! Get in touch with our firm today for representation throughout Kingfisher and Stillwater, Oklahoma.