How can you avoid administration of your estate through the courts? The way you do this is to establish a trust. It takes a little bit of time, and some expense, but it avoids all the hassles of filing inventories and accounting at your death. If you want to have a simple and easy process for your family, then set up a trust.
Can’t I just add my spouse or children to my accounts as a joint owner and let them manage things that way?
No. The joint owner can only act with respect to the account where they’re named. If any legal or financial matter needs handling outside of the account, your family may have to pursue adult guardianship. Also, the joint account becomes subject to the creditors of all the owners, and this arrangement may unintentionally disinherit beneficiaries under your will because the accounts usually transfer to the surviving owner.
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