In Texas, probate court proceedings are not expense or complex. However, steps can be taken to avoid these proceedings altogether. Here are some effective ways to ensure your property is given to the correct beneficiaries.
Methods for Avoiding Probate in Texas
Revocable Living Trust
A substitute for having a will, a revocable living trust can be used to determine who will receive your property and assets upon death. You are able to change the terms of your trust while you’re still alive. You must create a trust document and name someone to take over as trustee.
After creating the trust document, you can transfer your property into the trust. To transfer property, depending on whether the property is titled or not, you can either:
- Include a list of property with the document
- Retitle the property in the name of the trust
The trustee will be able to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries without probate court proceedings.
Joint ownership is when two or more individuals co-own a property. In this case, if your joint ownership includes the “right of survivorship,” the surviving owner instantly obtains the property rights upon the other owner’s death. The property does not become a part of your estate, and the transfer of property requires no probate proceedings.
This option is specifically tailored for banks and credit unions. You can add a “payable-on-death” (POD) designation to your account or accounts. Once you name a POD beneficiary, the beneficiary has no rights to the money until your death. In the event of your death, your assets are immediately transferred to your beneficiaries without involving probate.
For more information about avoiding probate, contact our estate planning attorney in Conroe to schedule an appointment.