Estate planning steps can help simplify probate

Many Texas residents undoubtedly know that going through the probate process can be difficult on surviving family. Individuals may have had to carry out the proceedings for their own loved ones and know firsthand how long the process can take. As a result, they may want to do what they can to simplify the probate process by estate planning.

Fortunately, people can use many planning tools to keep certain assets out of probate, which could help assets pass directly to designated individuals. For instance, parties can create payable-on-death or transfer-on-death designations for some accounts. This allows a beneficiary to be named and for the assets in the account to pass directly to the beneficiary after the account holder's death. As a result, the assets do not need probating.

Some individuals may also want to explore the option of joint ownership. Assets that have joint ownership with the right of survivorship will pass to the co-owner in the event of one owner's passing. This option also allows the jointly-held property to avoid probate by passing directly to a specific person.

Of course, many people may not have the ability to account for every piece of property they own before they pass. The remaining assets will likely go through probate, but because of the aforementioned steps and other estate planning options, the probate process may go somewhat easier for surviving family. Texas residents interested in simplifying the settling of their estates may wish to discuss their cases further with knowledgeable legal professionals.

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