Are you interested in having your family avoid probate when you pass away? Are you concerned that probate will be too public, expensive or time-consuming for your family? What have you been considering to avoid probate? We recommend that you consult with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to discuss the estate planning strategies that could help you effectively meet your probate goals. Be sure to not make one of these common mistakes when trying to avoid probate.

1. Only creating a last will and testament. Are you planning to just create a last will and testament? If that is your plan to avoid probate you are mistaken. When you pass away, the first thing that will happen is that your last will and testament will be filed with the probate court. Your last will and testament has all the instructions for your personal representative, selected by you, to follow as your will is probated. Your instructions include how to distribute your assets to your beneficiaries, once your creditors have been paid.

2. Never updating your plan. Is adding a trust to your estate plan your way to avoid probate? A trust funded with your assets and created with your Florida estate planning attorney, is a good tool to use to avoid probate. When, however, new assets are acquired but are not added to the trust, that is when the mistake is made. Any assets not put into the trust, will probably have to go through probate. Make it a habit to update your estate plan, including your trust, annually.

3. Are you aware of the costs? You may be spending too much money when trying to avoid probate and that would be a mistake. Sometimes the cost of preparing the estate planning tool needed to avoid probate can cost you more money up front than probate would cost and then your ultimate goal of saving money would not be accomplished.

At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.