Do you have a simple estate and want to avoid probate?
While generally speaking, probate is typically not difficult or expensive if you have a well-designed estate plan. However, if you do not have a complex estate, you may desire to plan for probate avoidance. Transfer on Death Deeds (TODDs) can be used to pass real property outside of the probate process and you can read more here: https://newbraunfelslawoffice.com/what-is-a-transfer-on-death-deed-and-how-can-it-benefit-me/
Bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, and other accounts with financial institutions can be set up to pass without the necessity of probate. Accounts which are owned by more than one person can be set up to be owned by Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship (JTWRS). If one of the account owners dies, the surviving account owner(s) automatically owns the balance of the account. Depending on the type of account, the terminology may differ but the result is the same in naming a Beneficiary, Transfer on Death (TOD), or Payable on Death (POD) designee. While the designee is not an owner of the account, when the account owner passes, the balance of the account passes to the designee.
Vehicles can passed to a beneficiary by using the Beneficiary Designation for a Motor Vehicle form (VTR-121) from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. By completing this form, you can designate a beneficiary who will receive your vehicle if you die and the vehicle will not have to go through probate.
The above is a very basic description of some methods of probate avoidance. Use of these methods without planning can lead to unintended consequences so you should discuss with your financial planner as well as an estate planning attorney. If you would like assistance with planning for probate avoidance, call the Law Office of Roy Neal Linnartz, PLLC at 830-625-9300.