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Estate Planning Myths

1. A will always avoids probate. 

On the contrary a will usually guarantees a probate if the estate  is over $166,250.00 or there  is  real estate.

2. Putting Property into Joint Tenancy Property always avoids probate.
 
Partially true but only as between the joint tenants.  The survivor of the joint tenancy then has to change the title or the property will be probated on the surviving joint tenant's death.  Moreover, if both  joint tenants die at the same time there could  be two probates in stead of one.

3. Retirement Accounts are Never Probated.

If there is no beneficiary on a retirement account ,depending on the provisions of the retirement plan, there may be a probate.  It is important to make sure on all retirement plans, insurance policies, and other financial instruments have a beneficiary.

4. If I have a living trust I will not have to have a probate.

While that is true if the property is properly titled into the trust, if it is not titled as trust property then the property might have to be probated to get clear title to your heirs.


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