The Florida probate process can be a very expensive and time-consuming process. A Tampa probate attorney can also explain that the probate process is a public process meaning that your family’s private financial matters may be aired in a very public setting. As a result, there may be many reasons you may want to explore ways to avoid the probate process.
Using Living Trusts to Avoid Probate
One of the most popular ways that a Tampa probate attorney can help you avoid probate is by creating a living trust. With a living trust, you will pass the bulk of your assets into the trust while you are still living. You will name yourself the initial trustee of the trust and have total control of the assets (just as if the trust did not exist).
Upon death, your assets in the trust will escape the probate process as a court will consider the assets a part of your trust and not your personal assets. Your successor trustee will then distribute your trust assets according to the instructions you set forth in the trust document.
Trusts may be more expensive to set up than a will. However, the savings in probate costs may more than offset this initial cost.
IRAs, Insurance Policies, and Other Probate Avoidance Devices
Besides a living trust, a Tampa probate attorney can also explain to you other tools for avoiding probate. Your assets in an IRA, insurance policy, or similar instrument typically avoid probate as the asset immediately passes to a named beneficiary upon death. For example, when you opened an IRA account, you likely listed two or three beneficiaries who would take over the account upon death. Because these devices immediately transfer upon death, a probate court does not become involved and probate fees are avoided.
Contact a Tampa Probate Attorney
If you have any questions about the Tampa probate process and strategies for avoiding probate, you will want to talk to an experienced Tampa probate attorney from the Coleman Law Firm by calling 727-461-7474 and learn how we can help you.