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Is a joint tenancy with an heir a good idea to avoid probate?

In Nevada, some people want to avoid probate when they die so that their heirs do not have to go through a lengthy process in order to receive their assets from their estates. It is possible for people to avoid probate by titling their assets in joint tenancy with their intended heirs, but doing so is not always a good idea.

People are able to add heirs to their accounts and to their property as joint tenants of the accounts and the property. When the person dies, the accounts and property are then transferred automatically to the joint tenant. This may offer an inexpensive and fast way to transfer assets without going through probate.

There are several reasons why jointly titling accounts and property with heirs might not be a good idea. If the heirs are sued, file bankruptcy or are married and get divorced, the creditors and spouses may be able to go after the heirs' property interests in the accounts and property. If an heir is named as a joint tenant of an account, the heir may also withdraw funds without having to get permission.

People may also be able to avoid probate by establishing living trusts. After setting up the trusts, individuals can fund them with their assets and name their intended heirs as beneficiaries of the trusts. This allows them to pass their assets as they wish after they die without going through probate. Creditors are not able to go after the living trusts while the grantors are alive.

People who are trying to plan their estates might want to consult with will planning lawyers. Attorneys may be able to help to set up estate plans that help clients pass their assets to their intended beneficiaries in the smoothest way possible after they die.

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