When a Texas resident dies, surviving family members might struggle to get their inheritance. Probate could make matters even more challenging. However, you can help your family avoid this process by making use of trusts and other estate-planning options.
Create a living trust
Establishing a living trust to hold assets can help your heirs and ensure that they get what you intend to leave them. Once anything is placed into the trust, it’s no longer part of your estate, which means it can bypass probate. You oversee this legal tool but name someone to take over as successor in the event that something happens to you. If you become incapacitated or after you have passed away, property and assets remain protected.
Maintain a small estate
Most estates that go through the probate process are larger, but many states offer an exemption for small estates. If you keep things smaller, you might be able to skip probate altogether. If you consider going this route, it helps to check the rules in your state.
Give assets away before you pass away
If your estate is large, you can protect your family by giving assets away to them while you’re still alive and healthy. It serves more than one purpose: you can ensure that your loved ones receive their inheritances sooner and that your estate becomes smaller so that you can avoid a long probate process after you pass away.
Title property jointly
If you name more than one person jointly on a certain property, it can transfer from one to another without the need for probate. However, this is limited to joint tenancy with right of survivorship, tenancy by the entirety and community property with right of survivorship.
Avoiding probate can protect your heirs and precious time and money.