It may be beneficial for you to take steps now to avoid your estate passing through Probate Court at your death. The associated attorney and executor fees for administering a Probate estate can be considerable. These fees can be based on a percentage of the assets in the estate, or they may be based on the lawyer’s time and expertise required. Many people think that the cost of Probate Court proceedings themselves are very high, but actually, this cost is only a small fixed sum: $225 in Hamilton County, Ohio.
Methods of Probate Avoidance
There are many ways to avoid Probate Court, each with different benefits and some disadvantages. Some common methods of Probate avoidance include: using Transfer-On-Death (TOD) and Pay-On-Death (POD) beneficiary designations on accounts; and registering assets jointly with rights of survivorship (JTWROS). In the case of a married couple, usually a spouse passes most or all assets to the surviving spouse through these means, and thus avoids Probate on the death of the first. For that reason, it is usually only the surviving spouse (the second to die) who may have to take measures to avoid Probate at his or her death.
In order to determine the most advantageous estate planning tools for your unique situation, it is always best to consult with an attorney, particularly one well-versed in tax matters. At Niehaus Law Office, LLC, we will assist you in making the most beneficial estate planning decisions to ensure you will be provided for, and that maximum assets will pass to your heirs. Our knowledge of estate planning vehicles and tax law allow us to expertly advise you in all estate planning matters.