Can a Will keep you out of Probate Court?

Will and Testament

Wills are often very miss understood and the relatives of those who have a Will, expecting that would keep the estate out of Probate, are unfortunately often disappointed.

We just had a REALTOR® who was asked to sell a house after her client became a widow. Fortunately for our Agent, she called us BEFORE listing the house to confirm that even though the house was vested “sole and separate” in the husband’s name that since the Will Deeded the house to the widow all would be okay at the close of escrow.

Good call because it would not have been okay as a Will directs a Probate Judge as to the intention of the person writing it and by its own definition means the estate must go through probate before it can be dealt with.

Here are two common ways to eliminate the probate process.

  • Vest the property correctly (Vesting options click HERE)
  • Create a Living Trust

Even if you vest the property correctly that usually that only works if one spouse or the other passes away because most people will vest the property equally among the spouses, You could add relatives to title but who gets what percentage and if /when you want to refinance or sell a property it makes the whole process difficult.

The best way to avoid Probate is by forming a Living Trust. Please forward this along to all new Homeowners and those who have a Will and get them in touch with an Estate Planning Attorney who can give them, and their family, the protection they really need.

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