Probate is the official process in which an estate is processed and distributed under the supervision of a court and its appointed officers. As you can likely imagine, the process concerning probate is extensive, time-consuming, and costly. Probate is necessary for most beneficiaries and heirs to an estate, especially under normal legal circumstances. However, this process isn’t necessarily the only method of processing and distributing the assets of an estate among its beneficiaries.

Through prudent legal maneuvers by a Coeur D’Alene probate lawyer, there are a wide array of methods in which an heir can avoid the lengthy process of probate. In the state of Idaho, there are three common ways to avoid probate and receive your assets instantly. These methods include:

Living Trusts

In the state of Idaho, you can set up a living trust to avoid probate for any asset in your possession. These assets include vehicles, real estate, bank accounts, and so on. A living trust is basically assembled in the same manner as a will. To create a living trust, you will need to develop a trust document, which simply outlines who will take over as the trustee to your assets after your death. Henceforth, this person is known as a successor trustee.

The next step of solidifying this trust is by transferring the ownership of your asset to yourself as executor of the living trust. After your death, the successor trustee will be able to distribute all of your assets to your beneficiaries without the need for typical probate procedures. Under normal legal circumstances, living trusts are the most practical way of securing your assets for distribution without probate.

Joint Tenancy

As far as real estate is concerned, if two or more people possess joint ownership of a property, this asset is automatically given to the surviving owner if one of the joint owners dies. In legal terms, this process is known as the “right of survivorship.” Though, under Idaho state law, joint tenancy is a simplistic transfer of ownership that involves minimum paperwork and no probate.

For example, a married couple owns a home in Boise. One day, the husband dies unexpectedly and leaves the ownership of their property to his wife. Of course, it will take some minimum paperwork to ensure that the property is owned entirely by the surviving owner, but the transfer of ownership is instantaneous and does not require the lengthy process of probate.

Payable On Death Option For Bank Accounts

Under Idaho law, you have the option to add a payable-on-death specification to your bank accounts. Also, this option is readily available for any certificates of deposit and your savings account. Until your death, you can spend the money as you choose. In fact, you can even spend all of the money in your accounts. However, after your death, your beneficiary can claim the remaining funds from your bank, all without the establishment of probate.

The entire probate process involves a great deal of time and money that you may not have at the moment. If you want the liquidation of your estate to process smoothly, the options listed above will give you a fair chance of preventing any stress that may arise in the aftermath of your death.