Considerations for eliminating the probate process

On Behalf of | Feb 28, 2024 | Estate Planning & Probate |

Trying to ensure as smooth of a process as possible for your surviving loved ones is probably at or close to the top of your priority list when establishing a comprehensive estate plan. One important consideration for many in Ohio who are planning ahead for their eventual passing is whether or not to eliminate the probate court from these future matters. Fortunately, there are several different ways that you can ultimately bring this to fruition.

The role of the probate court is to ensure that any will you have is valid and that there is a proper distribution of your estate’s assets. However, the process has the potential to create some issues for your family. Probate can involve contentious challenges to your will, and it can take a substantial amount of time to complete, especially for high-net-worth individuals. What’s more, it can allow many of your financial affairs to become a matter of public record that you may strongly prefer to remain private.

Specific ways to avoid probate

Depending on the specifics of your unique situation, you may have multiple options at your disposal that could eliminate the probate process from all future estate-related matters. Some of the most common of these measures include the following:

  • Payable on death accounts: Your funds at many banks and other financial institutions will immediately transfer to your designated beneficiary in the event of your passing.
  • Certain types of trusts: Trusts can keep your affairs private while formally establishing a trustee who is responsible for distributing the assets in the exact manner you specify.
  • Utilizing joint ownership of property: In situations where you owned particular property in conjunction with another family member or individual, the assets will transfer without the probate court’s involvement.

There is also the possibility that your estate could qualify for expedited probate proceedings here in Ohio, depending on its total value.

Where to turn for the help you need

All of the intricacies involved with creating a comprehensive estate plan, including how to best account for the probate process, may seem a bit overwhelming. Fortunately, there is professional guidance and support readily available to you. An experienced estate planning attorney can carefully evaluate your unique situation, answer all of your questions and concerns, and help determine the best means possible for accomplishing all of your goals.