What are some common probate misconceptions you shouldn’t believe? How can you yourself avoid a probate situation? Attorney Merideth Nagel, P.A. joins me once again today to answer these questions for you.
The first probate misconception you shouldn’t believe relates to power of attorney. If you have power of attorney given to you by someone, that power of attorney ceases to be in effect once they pass away. This means you can’t claim it to, for example, sell a property.
Another probate misconception relates to ownership of items within a will. Even if you have a notarized will that clearly states that you own something, the will still has to go through the probate process.
As far as avoiding probate goes, whenever Merideth and her team are writing an estate plan for a client, they change the title for all of their properties so that when they pass away, probate won’t be required. There are two ways to do this: through a ladybird deed or through a trust.
A ladybird deed (also known as an enhanced life state deed) gives a property owner complete control over their property while they’re alive. Then once they pass away, it gets transferred to the people they’ve left it to in the deed.
If a property is put into a trust, then probate simply isn’t required. Whoever the successor trustee is can submit a prepared certificate of trust, file the death certificate, and sell the property.
A person can have a ladybird deed without having a trust. If you have just one single property and you want it to go to your children, the ladybird deed is probably your best option. If you want to control how the proceeds from the property’s sale are used, then a trust is your best bet.
Once again, if you have any more questions about probate or you’d like to set up a ladybird deed or a trust, you can call Meredith at (352) 394-7408 or email her firm at www.MNagelLaw.com. They’ll meet with you for free to help you figure out what is best in your situation.
As always, if you have any other real estate needs, feel free to call or email me anytime. I’d be happy to help you.