Tips For Avoiding Ancillary Probate
Probate can be an expensive, lengthy, painful process for your loved ones. The complications can even be more amplified if your loved ones have to go through two probates. Here are a few tips to help you avoid a second probate (ancillary probate).
The most basic way to avoid multiple wills is to revoke earlier ones each time you want a new will. That way, the latest will always have all your last wishes and testament. Of course, this only makes sense if your reason for writing another will is to take care of supplementary wishes. Say you have a good will, but you want to craft another one because you have acquired additional property. You can just revoke the existing will and write a new one that contains both the earlier and new provisions.
Another trick is to opt for joint ownership of properties. In this case, you don't have to revoke your existing will. However, instead of writing a new will, you co-own your additional properties with your beneficiaries and include the right of survivorship in the joint ownership deeds. That way, your beneficiaries automatically assume full ownership of the co-owned properties upon your demise.
If you want to write multiple wills because you have properties in different countries, you can opt for an international will instead. Many countries have joined the Uniform International Wills Act, a project that allows their citizens to write a single will in one country and have it enforceable in all the other member states. Many U.S. states have adopted the act, so you can write your international will and have it accepted nearly universally.
A trust is a legal arrangement that entrusts one party (the trustor) with the responsibility of managing property on behalf of a third party (the trustee). For example, you can create a trust for your child and get a trustworthy trustor to manage the properties on behalf of the child. That way, you don't have to create a will to handle the properties contained in the trust. Assets in a trust operate outside the limits of a will.
Transfer on Death Deed
The transfer on death (TOD) deed is a legal document that allows a person to automatically assume ownership of an asset upon the demise of the legal owner of the asset. For example, if you have properties in different states, you can craft various TODs for them and name the relevant beneficiaries. That way, the beneficiaries automatically receive the assets in case you die.
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