How to Avoid Probate for Everyone: Protecting Your Estate for Your Loved Ones

How to Avoid Probate for Everyone: Protecting Your Estate for Your Loved Ones

by Ronald Farrington Sharp


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Learn How to Prepare Your Estate and Avoid Costly Mistakes

Want to avoid probate? Gleaned from his forty-four years as an estate attorney, Sharp describes the probate process and the many reasons why it should be your last resort in estate settlement methods in How to Avoid Probate for Everyone. Living trusts are important, but there are many alternatives to using a living trust for probate avoidance. These alternatives are explained step-by-step as Sharp delves into the details. Examples of such approaches include:
  • While state laws vary, most allow for expedited procedures for low-value estates without having to create a trust.
  • There are a dozen different ways of leaving assets to heirs automatically at death.
  • Special types of deeds allow you to keep control of your real estate during lifetime yet transfer it to heirs automatically at death.
  • There are several ways of titling vehicles that allow heirs to get them without court procedures.
  • Beneficiary designations on bank and investment accounts keep them out of your probate estate.
  • Joint ownership of accounts and real estate can solve inheritance problems.
  • Common myths and misconceptions about estates and probate are debunked.
Trusts are covered in detail, including a section on must-use trust provisions to cover common complications and showing how a trust can easily resolve these. Joint and single trusts are examined and issues, such as how to handle personal property items, are suggested. (For instance, who gets the piano?) By avoiding probate court-supervised adult guardianship and conservatorship, families can avoid embarrassing and time-consuming incompetency hearings in court. Samples of the described documents are also included to give the reader an idea of what the paperwork actually looks like. Sharp’s matter-of-fact explanations will prepare any reader to take the necessary steps to prepare their estate with confidence and avoid probate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781621537304
Publisher: Allworth
Publication date: 04/07/2020
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 501,116
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Ronald Farrington Sharp, Esquire, has practiced family and estate law since 1975 after attending the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law Schools. He has personally prepared over three thousand trusts and is the author of Living Trusts for Everyone and Winning the Divorce War (both from Allworth Press), as well as No Regrets, No Remorse (Poisoned Pen Press). An award-winning mystery writer and sculptor, Sharp is married to the artist Susannah Keith and has three children and three terrific granddaughters. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 The Probate Process 1

Chapter 2 Avoiding Probate without Using Trusts 14

Chapter 3 Using Trusts as a Probate-Avoiding Tool 31

Chapter 4 Six Situations When a Trust Is Absolutely Necessary 69

Chapter 5 Using Powers of Attorney to Avoid Court-Ordered Guardians and Conservators 73

Chapter 6 Selecting and Dealing with Attorneys 79

Chapter 7 Funding the Trust 81

Chapter 8 Myths and Misconceptions about Estates and Probate 87

Appendix A Sample Intestacy Laws 91

Appendix B Sample Medical Power of Attorney and Advance Directive 95

Appendix C Sample Durable Springing Power of Attorney 108

Appendix D Sample Information Form to Take to Your Attorney to Start the Trust Process 116

Appendix E Sample Simple Trust 120

Appendix F Sample Pour-Over Will 160

Appendix G Sample Assignment of Assets to Trust 166

Glossary of Terms 169

Index 175

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