Most people want to avoid probate. That’s because the process can be long, expensive, and stressful. Unfortunately, if you don’t plan well now, it may be impossible for your family or beneficiaries to avoid the probate process after you pass away.
The question is, what can you do to ensure probate is avoided? While it can be challenging, it’s not impossible.
Give your assets away while you are alive
You have the option to give your assets away while you are still alive. If you don’t have an estate when you die, there’s nothing to go through the probate process.
Keep your estate small
Along the same lines of giving everything away while you are alive is to keep your estate small. According to Mississippi statutes, if your estate is valued at under $50K, it’s considered “small” and may be able to avoid probate. While this isn’t guaranteed, it is more likely than if you have an estate valued at more than $50K.
Consider joint ownership of property
Owning property with someone else (i.e., a spouse, child, etc.) and ensuring ownership includes the “right of survivorship” means that the other owner can take over ownership when you pass. With this arrangement, probate isn’t necessary to transfer the property. The key to this is to ensure you have all the proper documentation before you pass because it is necessary to prove it was jointly owned.
Avoiding probate for your Mississippi estate
As mentioned above, probate can be a long and expensive process. Because of this, it’s best to take steps to establish an estate plan that works to prevent the necessity of this. While there’s no guarantee probate will be avoided, the tips above can help reduce its likelihood.