Yes, you can avoid probate in Minnesota. On the other hand, you can encourage probate too. Being dead does not remove you from probate hell. Instead, it only makes it worse.
Luckily, I believe you and I can help our families avoid the probate process for our estate by doing three simple things:
- Create a revocable trust,
- Update beneficiary forms, and
- Communicate with family.
Avoid Probate in MN by Chance
Yes, you can find books at the library that help describe multiple ways to avoid probate. One option often described is the process of adding a beneficiary or Pay on Death (POD) to a checking account.
If this process makes you feel better, then fantastic. Unfortunately, people often add their spouse or children. This is unfortunate because if our loved one dies or becomes incapacitated in the same car accident, our loved ones are likely forced into probate.
Thus, trying to avoid probate by selecting a loved one by chance does not really avoid probate.
Avoid Probate in Minnesota by being Rich
I cannot tell you how many times I am required to explain why a revocable trust is not exclusive to rich people. If you are rich, I mean no disrespect. If you are anything less than rich, please consider using a trust to help with:
- Naming a long line of beneficiaries (just in case somebody dies while you least expected it),
- Using your trust to identify a guardian for your children,
- Giving your family valuable information like:
- The code to your car door,
- How to access your Facebook.com account,
- The code to your cell phone,
- Permission to enter your apartment, condo, or home, or
- Anything else that might be useful while you proceed to the pearly gates.
Please note, I am not trying to be funny or cute when describing value ways to avoid probate in Minnesota. If you care about any person other than yourself, then helping your family and friends avoid the thousands and thousands of dollars generally required during the probate process is worth your time.
Avoid Probate in Minnesota
Here are some other fancy (or easy) ways to avoid probate:
- Using a Transfer on Death Deed, and
- Always naming more than one beneficiary.
If you conduct enough research online, you might see people suggesting a beneficiary for your car or owning property via joint tenancy. If you contact me directly, I will share more about why this is not necessarily the best strategy either.
Final Thoughts about Avoiding Probate
Anybody who tells you that you can avoid probate 100% is dead wrong. Instead, the goal is to reduce the risk of probate and discouraging our pain in the butt family members (or creditors) from challenging our estates.