Even if an Ontario resident’s probate is not the longest one, it could take longer than surviving family members can afford or handle. To avoid this scenario, others may find it useful to structure their estate plans in such a way that estate administration is easier and takes less time. Taking steps to avoid probate can take the process in a direction that allows family members to access assets right away.
Estate planning offers numerous methods for distributing and transferring property outside of probate. For example, a trust could allow heirs and beneficiaries near immediate access to the assets the trust holds. Another way to get quick cash to loved ones is through beneficiary designations.
A life insurance with a beneficiary other than the Ontario individual’s estate could do the trick. Other accounts could go directly to a beneficiary of his or her choice. Real estate can be titled in such a way that the surviving owner receives complete ownership upon the death of the other party. A person could also consider making gifts during his or her lifetime that would cover any future inheritance.
Using these methods can simplify estate administration for loved ones after the death of a family member. This could be particularly helpful for a spouse who relied on the income of the deceased spouse during life. He or she would at least have a home to live in and access to some funds in order to continue paying the bills. Determining which methods would work best in a particular situation could take some time and experienced advice and assistance.