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Yes, probate can be avoided

There is a lot to think about when creating an estate plan. While you may be most concerned with the here and now, don't let this cloud what will happen in the future. Remember, once you pass on it is your loved ones who are left to handle your assets and debts.

There are things you can do now to help your heirs avoid probate in the future. This is a big deal for many reasons, including the fact that probate can drag on for many months and cost thousands of dollars.

Your goal is simple: to make decisions now that can help loved ones avoid probate in the future. This is done by transferring assets out of the probate process. There are many ways of doing so, including the following:

-- Gifting your assets to others while you are alive.

-- Naming death beneficiaries.

-- Using joint property ownership.

-- Creating a revocable living trust.

Whether or not you apply one or more of these to your estate plan depends on many factors. At the very least, you want to learn more about probate and how it can be avoided.

It is hard for some people to understand, but there are ways that probate can be avoided. If you want to prevent your family from going through this upon your death, take the appropriate steps right now.

There is a lot to understand in regards to probate, and you should wrap your head around this as soon as possible. If you don't, you could put your heirs in a bad spot once you pass on.

Source: FindLaw, "Avoiding the Probate Process," accessed Nov. 30, 2015

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