We at the Law Offices of Frye & Vazquez understand why it is desirable to avoid probate if possible. The probate process in Florida can be complicated, expensive and much more public than most families would prefer. There are a number of available options to help you and your heirs avoid probate, but some are more efficient than others.
According to FindLaw, two methods of probate avoidance include naming a beneficiary on an account and owning assets jointly. A number of different accounts, including a pay-on-death account, can have a beneficiary named, and in a joint ownership situation, the right of survivorship ensures that upon the death of one co-owner, the other automatically inherits the property. However, these methods can have unanticipated pitfalls related to exposure to creditors, inflexible distribution and tax inefficiencies.
One of the most popular ways of avoiding probate is to create a living trust. While you are alive, you retain control of the property, and upon your death, a successor trustee of your choosing assumes administration of the trust, transferring the property to your beneficiaries. This allows your surviving loved ones access to their inheritance according to the schedule you choose regardless of how long the probate process takes. A living trust maintains family privacy, the court does not interfere in the process of transferring assets and your family members can minimize the delays and expenses associated with the probate process.
Distribution of assets becomes simplified with a living trust. More information about avoiding probate is available on our website.