Reduce Probate Costs

The decision to create a will is one that you should never take lightly. Done right, a will can ensure that your hard-earned assets go to the right people when you die. Without a will, your assets would be distributed per Arizona intestacy laws.

For your will to be enforced, however, it must go through probate. This is the process of identifying your assets and beneficiaries, paying applicable taxes and debts and distributing what is left per the provisions of the will. However, probate can be a very lengthy and expensive process. Here are three things you can do to reduce the cost of probating your estate:

Set up a trust

A trust, just like a will, allows you to set forth inheritance for your loved ones. A trust, however, allows you to manage and distribute your assets while you’re still alive. Therefore, assets that are held in the trust are not considered part of your estate and, thus, do not go through probate. Besides probate costs, setting up an irrevocable trust can also result in certain tax benefits.

Set up a joint tenancy

Any asset that you co-own with someone else under the joint ownership with the right of survivorship arrangement automatically passes down to the other co-owner upon your death. As such, you don’t have to include such assets in your will. However, this arrangement can present complications, especially if you do not have a stable relationship with the co-owner.

Give away gifts

Gifting away assets is another excellent way of reducing the value of your estate and, thus, probate fees. However, you want to be sure that this approach fits within your intentions and that it doesn’t jeopardize your ability to provide for yourself and your dependents.

The probate process can be quite overwhelming, especially when your loved ones are still grieving. Find out how sound legal counsel can help you minimize the costs associated with probating your estate. Call or contact us for your free initial consultation.

Andre L. Pennington attributes his passion and success as an Arizona estate planning lawyer and licensed financial professional to one thing: wanting to do what’s right for his Family.