Q: Is a valid will enough for my kids to avoid probate?

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Estate Planning, Q&A |

A: Although every living person should have a will, by itself it unfortunately does absolutely nothing to help keep your kids out of probate. Having said that, just because you only have a will does not automatically mean your estate will be subject to probate. For instance, there are several non-trust options available to you to keep certain assets out of probate:

1: Using Payable-On-Death (“POD”) beneficiaries on bank accounts

2: Using Transfer-On-Death (“TOD”) registrations on stocks, bonds, and vehicles, and

3: Using a Revocable Transfer on Death Deed for certain types of qualifying real estate.

Remember, while a living trust is an exceptionally valuable estate planning tool for many people, not all people will necessarily need one. Of course, as they say, it depends upon the unique facts, circumstances, and objectives of each person!