Your estate must be probated when you maintain control of your personal property and arrange for its distribution through the terms of a last will. There are reasons why you may want to seek alternatives so that you can avoid probate in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Why Avoid Probate in Cincinnati, Ohio?
There are three primary reasons why you may want to avoid probate. The first reason is that there are considerable costs that can accumulate during the probate process.
First, the court will impose a fee. The executor or executrix that you choose to administer the estate will also be entitled to payment for their services. The executor will probably retain the services of a probate lawyer. A tax accountant may be necessary to handle final taxes, and there could be the need for appraisals and liquidation of property. All of this costs money.
The second reason why probate is often avoided is because it can be quite time-consuming. The exact length of time will vary on a case-by-case basis, depending on the size of the estate and the specific circumstances that exist. Simple estates will take months to complete, and more complicated cases can take years.
Third, anyone can access probate records, which are public record. Dealing with the probate process strips your family of privacy.
Probate Avoidance Strategies
There are a number of different ways to avoid probate. There are a couple of so-called simple solutions, but you should take pause before you utilize them because they come along with certain drawbacks.
Payable on death accounts would be one of these limited solutions. You can open this type of account at a bank or a brokerage firm. When you are filling out the paperwork, you name a payable on death beneficiary. At the time of your passing, this beneficiary assumes sole ownership of the assets that remain in the account, and will do so outside of probate.
It should be noted that the beneficiary does not have access to the funds while you are still alive.
You can also add someone as a co-owner of your property via a joint tenancy with right of survivorship. This would allow the joint tenant to become the owner of the property after you die, and the probate court would not be involved.
A truly effective solution if you are looking to avoid probate would be the creation of a revocable living trust. You name a trustee to administer the trust after you die. This can be a person, but you can also choose to utilize a trust company or the trust department of a bank.
When you draw up the trust agreement, you name a beneficiary. After you pass away, the trustee distributes monetary resources to the beneficiary according to your wishes, and these distributions are not subject to probate supervision.
For more information on your own estate planning needs, please contact Zimmer Law Firm today at 513.721.1513 for a consultation.