What Can We Do To Avoid Probate?

by Phil
(elk grove, ca)

My mother passed away 4 months ago. She set up a living trust, the life insurance is part of the trust. Upon her death the life insurance paid out the death benefit to "the estate of...." instead of to the "trust of ...." and now the bank will not let us deposit it.

I spoke with the attorney and he said that the trust will now go into probate. What can we do to avoid probate?

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Oct 26, 2011
Perfect Example Why Estate Planning Prior to Death Is So Important
by: Mo Johnson

Hi, I'm afraid it will have to go through probate since the life insurance was specifically made payable to the estate. We discuss in what is subject to probate that life insurance proceeds can avoid probate by properly naming the beneficiary as the trust or even directly to an individual.

We talk more about this important topic in funding a living trust and how to avoid probate.

You should talk to a local estate planning attorney though because it may be possible to have it go through a streamlined probate process -- depending on how big the life insurance policy is; what other property might be in the estate; and state law.

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