Tips for avoiding probate


An easy way to avoid probate on your bank and investment accounts is to make them Payable on Death (POD), Transfer on Death (TOD), or In Trust For (ITF) for your adult children.  To avoid probate on your home, do not add your children's names to your deed.  Use a lady bird deed to avoid probate on your home.


Michael: Yes, hi, I have a question. I'm a single father and I only have one kid. If I leave him as a beneficiary for everything and do a quit claim deed on my house, do I need a will or--

Attorney Tom Olsen: Michael, you always have a will as a backup, but you are on the right track, Michael. You are thinking about how am I going to avoid probate, how am I going to make things simple, easy, inexpensive for my son when I pass away. Michael, what you really should be doing is keeping those accounts in your name only, but making them POD, payable on death, to your son. If you do that and you pass away--

Michael: POD?

Attorney Tom Olsen: POD, payable on death. If you do that and you pass away, your son will-- all he has to do is show the bank or credit union your death certificate and they'll turn the money over to him. Now, by the way, Michael, how old is your son?

Michael: He's 21.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. Now, Michael, as far as your home, do not quit claim your home to where you own it jointly with your son. If you do that and he gets sued, gets in a terrible automobile accident, files bankruptcy, doesn't pay his income taxes or gets divorced, his creditors are coming after your property.

Michael, as far as avoiding probate on your home, we have a much better tool called a Lady Bird Deeds. It's a deed that I would prepare and would state that as long as you are alive, it is your property to do with as you please. But upon your death, the home would automatically go to your son, no headaches, no hassles, no probate. Now, Chrissy, we've got a booklet on Lady Bird Deeds, and we could certainly mail that out to Michael if we had his name and address.

Chrissy: Michael, we're happy to send you that if you can call or text me. You can leave your first name, last name, and mailing address on my voice mail or you can text me to 407-808-8398. I am happy to send that booklet to you and that will give you a great overview to get you started and then we can answer questions or help you prepare that deed from there.

Attorney Tom Olsen: We have two booklets that would be of interest to Michael and other listeners out there. One is Easy Ways to Avoid Probate and two is Lady Bird Deeds. Since I wrote them, guess what? They're easy to understand.

Chrissy: And Tom-

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes?

Chrissy: -People tell me that all the time.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, so if you want one or both of those booklets, you can call or text Chrissy now. If you text her, just give her your name and address and Chrissy won't even have to call you back. She can just pop them in the mail to you, 407-808-8398. So the two booklets, we have many, but the two we're talking about right now is Easy Ways to Avoid Probate and Lady Bird Deeds. You want those booklets, you can just text Chrissy your name and address 407-808-8398.