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How to plan your estate to avoid costly probate

On Behalf of | Aug 21, 2023 | Estate Planning

Estate planning is an opportunity to ensure the fulfillment of your wishes after you pass.

With intentional planning, you can help your family avoid the lengthy and sometimes expensive probate process.

Protect assets with a living trust

A living trust resembles a will. You can use it to outline the distribution of assets. However, wills must go through the probate process for validation, and a living trust does not.

With a living trust, you remain in control of the trust until death. Then, your named successor trustee will take control and oversee the distribution of assets without intervention from the probate court. In some cases, it may help reduce estate taxes.

Register a transfer-on-death

If you have securities, Mississippi law allows you to register a transfer-on-death beneficiary. They automatically inherit stocks and bonds and will work directly with a broker after your death.

Share property ownership

Mississippi law recognizes the right to survivorship. Therefore, if you own any property, such as real estate or businesses, with a partner, they automatically take ownership of the property without probate. The two forms of joint ownership are joint tenancy and tenancy by the entirety. Both allow the immediate transfer of ownership, but the latter is for married couples only.

Designate a payable-on-death

Transfer bank accounts directly to a beneficiary with a payable-on-death designation. The heir can take over certificates of deposit, checking accounts and savings accounts without going through probate.

You do not need a wealth of assets to create an estate plan.