The probate process of dividing up assets among the people who inherited them is often lengthy and frustrating.
With intentional estate planning, you can protect your family from the pains of probate and make asset division quick and to the point with a few important components in your plan.
Right of survivorship
Joint ownership of property does not guarantee that the property goes directly to your co-owner when you die. Texas allows the immediate transfer of property to another owner with joint tenancy and survivorship community property. You can include agreements in your estate plan to ensure the direct transfer of ownership to a co-owner without going through probate court.
Create a living trust
A living trust can protect all your assets from probate. With a living trust, you create a document explaining how you wish to distribute your property after you die. While you are alive, you are the trustee of your living trust, but when you die, your successor trustee, which you name, takes control and transfers assets to your beneficiaries.
In Texas, you can transfer real estate and vehicle deeds to a beneficiary by signing the deed over. Your beneficiary does not have rights to the property until your death. If you own stocks and bonds, Texas does not allow a TOD registration for securities.
With a payable-on-death document, you can designate the direct transfer of bank accounts to a beneficiary.
An estate plan is important for anyone regardless of financial status. The purpose is to ensure the fulfillment of your wishes after you die.