How to write a WILL, avoiding probate ?

I have a property and i want to pass on to my kids with out any legal hassles. I also heard that irrespective of the will i need to pay 30% to 40% of the government. is any other better way that i can skip this.

How to write a WILL, avoiding probate ?
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4 Replies to “How to write a WILL, avoiding probate ?”

  1. I can’t tell what country you are in and the rules are different in each but here are some generalisations.

    Probate is the process by which your estate is valued, taxes paid and the remainder goes to the legal heirs named in your will. It is designed to make sure your wishes are carried out.

    Having said that yes, there are ways you can skip this. If you leave no assets, there will be nothing to probate. Give your children now what you want them to have. Or you can gift the property to an irrevocable trust.

    Now that is where your location matters as in some countries you can do this easily and in others not so easily. You will probably have to pay tax but you will avoid legal hassles. But if you go the gift route with a property, make sure you follow the rules. If you give it and then live there without paying rent, you may find the gift is null and void.

    If you say which country you are from, we might be able to give you some more specific advice on ways to minimise your tax bill.

  2. You can avoid probate by putting your property into a family trust. Avoiding or reducing taxes legally requires strategies best left to an attorney specializing in estate planning.

  3. A will won’t avoid probate. You need a living trust. The living trust will have a will in it. Proper name is “Irrivocable living trust”. You will also need a power of attorney, and an executor. You can get these forms at many office supply stores. You may have to go to a smaller office supply, not a large store like office depot. After you get them all filled out, you may want to pay a lawyer to review it, and have he or she sign it as one of the witnesses.

  4. With a will, the estate must go to probate. In California, a Living Trust (not a Living Will) allows an estate to pass without probate. A well written trust can cost $ 5K but that is better than the cost of probate which, in California, starts at $ 33K and goes up from there. If the estate is less than:
    $ 2 million in 2008 or
    $ 3.5 million in 2009
    Then there is NO estate tax due.
    In 2010 there is no Estate Tax at all, for any size estate.
    In 2011 it goes back down to $ 600,000 but I believe that Congress will change it to exclude $ 5 million. That is what the candidates were backing during the campaigns.

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