Many people may not realize how simple it is to avoid probate if they engage in timely estate planning. Taking a few steps to sit down with an experienced attorney and assess which estate planning tool can be useful given one’s situation can be one method to avoid the time consuming and energy draining process that is probate.

While there is no guarantee that an estate will be free from conflict, one of the simplest methods to avoid probate is by transferring one’s property.

While many think this is not a viable option because money is crucial to survival, they may not be aware that assets can be accessed through a trust. Some trusts allow the person creating the trust to also become a beneficiary of one, thus allowing the creator to ensure there are no probate assets.

A revocable living trust can be one such valuable instrument. The agreement covers three phases of one’s life-while the person is alive and well, is incapacitated and after one dies. Signing the document itself is not enough to avoid probate-one must title the trust assets in the name of the trust and only then will it be possible to avoid probate. Assets that have not been included in the trust will be probated unless a beneficiary has been designated or it is owned by survivorship.

It may seem like there are only a limited number of ways to avoid probate, but it is possible to find a solution that will work for one’s individual situation. Avoiding probate can create peace of mind for both the person creating the trust and also for loved ones to whom assets are being left.