3 Ways to Avoid Probate in Michigan

There Are 3 ways to avoid probate in Michigan and only 3 ways.  Watch this short video for an explanation of what those 3 ways are.  Many people know that they want to avoid probate because it’s costly, it’s time consuming and is public.

In Michigan, it takes at least 5 months to go through the probate process, by statute.  Sometimes it can take over a year.  On top of the wasted time of probate, it’s also going to be costly.  On average, 3-5% of any assets that go through probate get eaten up in court costs.

Watch this short video to learn more about probate than attend one of our free Clarity Builder Workshops to help protect your family from probate.

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Avoiding Probate with Joint Ownership

Joint ownership is the first way to avoid probate in Michigan.  If you own property jointly with someone, such as a spouse than it will avoid probate when you pass away.  This is most common with married couples and is why typically when one spouse passes away, everything avoids probate.  For example a home that is jointly owned between a husband and wife.  When husband passes away it goes to the wife.

Joint ownership is great for a married couple, but it shouldn’t be used with anyone else for a variety of reasons covered in our weekly workshops.

Beneficiary Designations To Avoid Probate in Michigan

The second way to avoid probate in Michigan is by using beneficiary designations.  You can add beneficiary designations to things like IRAs, 401ks, life insurance, checking accounts, savings accounts and even real estate (Lady Bird Deeds).

However, beneficiary designations may not be the smartest way to leave things to you loved ones, even if they are adults. In our Clarity Builder Workshops we go over why this might be a bad idea and we give you some alternatives.

Castle Trusts and Living Trusts to Avoid Probate

The third way to avoid probate is with a trust.  Typically we use one of two types of trusts, either a Castle Asset Protection Trust or a revocable living trust.  Both trusts avoid probate and get stuff where they are supposed to go.  A Castle Trust ™ can build in Medicaid asset protection, while a living trust just avoids probate and controls the distribution.

A Last Will & Testament Does not Avoid Probate in Michigan

A will does not avoid probate in Michigan.  All a will does is, is give instructions to the probate court on how to administer an estate.  If you don’t want to go to probate, then don’t rely on a will as a way to direct your assets in your estate. Instead rely on one of the other ways to avoid probate, like a trust.

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