Alright, this is the last one on things you need to know heading into probate court in Detroit, I promise. 🙂
Let’s finish up. For real, this time.
Click below if you missed the first two parts.
Can You Personally Avoid a Probate Situation the Loved Ones You Leave Behind?
One thing you can do that’s fairly common to lighten the burden on your loved ones that you leave behind, is to make sure you don’t have any assets or property in your name alone when you die.
One commonly-used method involves is giving someone a lifetime gift, which is also known as a vivos gift.
To execute one of these, you transfer the ownership of specific assets to others prior to your death.
Payable on Death Accounts
Another option is to set up a “payable on death account (POD).”
These types of accounts are available at some financial institutions, where the money is paid to a specified beneficiary upon the death of the owner.
Stocks and other similar types of investments can be paid out using POD’s as well.
Gift Causa Mortis
There’s also the gift causa mortis, which allows you to give your assets to another person when you’re “expecting” death, like if you’re on your death bed, for example.
One of the more popular methods, though, is establishing a living trust.
This is where a person holds onto property for another person, who’s known as the beneficiary.
The beneficiary doesn’t always have to be another person, though. You can be the beneficiary of your own living trust.
When it comes to avoiding probate, living trusts are commonly preferred, because they make the passing of assets faster and cheaper for the beneficiaries.
With living trusts, the beneficiaries usually don’t have to hire or pay fees to professionals like attorneys and others that are commonly hired to help with the probate proceedings.
It usually only takes a few weeks or so for the ownership of the items to legally transfer over to the successor trustee, or the recipient of the items in the trust.
Warning: If you choose to look further into any of the above-mentioned approaches, please consult an attorney.
I’m not a lawyer, and these are potentially life-changing decisions, so you definitely want to make sure it’s done right.
Can You Keep the Details of the Probate Proceedings Secret?
Actually you can; well, at least some of the proceedings can be.
The Personal Representative can choose not to file the inventory of the deceased person’s estate.
This will keep the public from being able to view the contents of that person’s estate, or the value of it.
Other than that, the court file for the estate is viewable by the public.
I hope that I was able to provide you with some information that makes your potential probate situation go a little smoother.
Do you have a property that you anticipate acquiring through probate that you want to sell for cash quickly?
Give us a call at 313.454.1190. We’d love to be of assistance.
Or if you don’t want to call, you can just fill out this form with information on your property, and we’ll contact you within 24 hours.
Michigan Probate: An Overview (via nolo.com)
Probate in Michigan – General Information (via lawyersinmichigan.com)
Do You Really Want to Avoid Probate? (via michiganlegalaid.org)
What is a Living Trust? (via nolo.com)
Inter Vivos Definition (via legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com)
How Living Trusts Avoid Probate (via nolo.com)
Who Gets My Property if There Is No Will? (via law.freeadvice.com)
How an Estate is Settled If There’s No Will: Intestate Succession (via nolo.com)