Can A Will Alone Help Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate?
Many people know the importance of creating a last will and testament. A will can outline your last wishes and indicate who you would like to receive your property when you pass away, and even include who you would like to assign as guardian of your children. Drafting a will is very important, and these documents form the foundation of many estate plans. However, contrary to what many people think, a last will and testament alone is not enough to allow your loved ones to avoid probate. Below, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer explains more.
What is a Last Will and Testament?
A last will and testament is likely not enough to avoid probate. A will provides your personal representative with specific instructions regarding how to distribute your assets, including your home, vehicle, bank or brokerage accounts, and other personal items. Even with these written instructions, the property within your estate is still subject to probate. The probate process is one that is time-consuming and could incur additional costs. It is critical to speak to a St. Petersburg wills lawyer who can advise on how to help your loved ones avoid probate.
Can a Trust Help You Avoid Probate?
After learning that a last will and testament is not enough to avoid the probate process, many people choose to create a trust. Revocable trusts can help your loved ones avoid the probate process, but you must ensure that your assets are titled in your trust before your death in order to avoid probate. A trust is a legal document that includes certain assets you want within the trust. However, it is essential that you remember only assets titled in your trust are protected by the trust. If you acquire new assets and do not place them within the trust, that property will still have to go through the probate process and might not pass according to what your trust says.
Information Must Be Consistent
Many people choose to draft both a last will and testament and a trust. Both of these legal documents are important and can ensure your assets are distributed to your loved ones. In order to make sure this protection is properly provided, though, it is essential that the information within the will matches the information contained within the trust. If there are discrepancies between the two documents, your assets may not end up passing the way you want them to at your death.
Our Wills Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Prepare the Documents You Need
There are many ways you can help your loved ones avoid probate, but a last will and testament alone is not enough. At Legacy Protection Lawyers, LLP, our St. Petersburg wills lawyer can advise on your case and provide the documents you need to protect your loved ones and shield them from the probate process. Call us now at 727-471-5868 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorney and to learn more about how we can assist with your case.