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How to Avoid Probate for Everyone

Protecting Your Estate for Your Loved Ones

Ronald Farrington Sharp


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Learn How to Prepare Your Estate and Avoid Costly Mistakes

Want to avoid probate? Gleaned from his forty-four years as an estate attorney, Sharp describes the probate process and the many reasons why it should be your last resort in estate settlement methods in How to Avoid Probate for Everyone. Living trusts are important, but there are many alternatives to using a living trust for probate avoidance. These alternatives are explained step-by-step as Sharp delves into the details. Examples of such approaches include:
  • While state laws vary, most allow for expedited procedures for low-value estates without having to create a trust.
  • There are a dozen different ways of leaving assets to heirs automatically at death.
  • Special types of deeds allow you to keep control of your real estate during lifetime yet transfer it to heirs automatically at death.
  • There are several ways of titling vehicles that allow heirs to get them without court procedures.
  • Beneficiary designations on bank and investment accounts keep them out of your probate estate.
  • Joint ownership of accounts and real estate can solve inheritance problems.
  • Common myths and misconceptions about estates and probate are debunked.
Trusts are covered in detail, including a section on must-use trust provisions to cover common complications and showing how a trust can easily resolve these. Joint and single trusts are examined and issues, such as how to handle personal property items, are suggested. (For instance, who gets the piano?) By avoiding probate court-supervised adult guardianship and conservatorship, families can avoid embarrassing and time-consuming incompetency hearings in court. Samples of the described documents are also included to give the reader an idea of what the paperwork actually looks like. Sharp’s matter-of-fact explanations will prepare any reader to take the necessary steps to prepare their estate with confidence and avoid probate.

Praise For How to Avoid Probate for Everyone: Protecting Your Estate for Your Loved Ones

“A very good book, easy to read. It does what it says and does it well, while remaining easily accessible and readable by all. Sharp has translated ‘lawyerspeak’ to everyday common language that we can all understand.” —Terry Bertram, Esq., Legacy Law, PLLC,

“Ronald Sharp takes what can be a confusing topic for many people and provides clear explanations about how to approach this important tax—and family—topic.” —Pia Bennett, CFP, financial planner, Select Financial Services Group, Inc.

“A concise and easy-to-understand guide to probate avoidance that includes more than just living trusts. Nearly everyone can use one or more of these easy-to-use techniques to pass on their estates with no court involvement and little cost. Read this before you see your attorney. Highly recommended.” —Laury Weiner, CPA, CFP, Weiner Financial Group, LLC

Allworth, 9781621537304, 192pp.

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

About the Author

Ronald Farrington Sharp, Esquire, has practiced family and estate law since 1975 after attending the University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law Schools. He has personally prepared over three thousand trusts and is the author of Living Trusts for Everyone and Winning the Divorce War (both from Allworth Press), as well as No Regrets, No Remorse (Poisoned Pen Press). An award-winning mystery writer and sculptor, Sharp is married to the artist Susannah Keith and has three children and three terrific granddaughters. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.