DEAR BOB: I am recently widowed. The house is now in my name. How do I prevent probate, how expensive is it, and how long before my heirs can sell the house? Should I add my heirs' names to the title of my house now? --Phyllis L. DEAR PHYLLIS: Whenever possible, it is best to avoid probate court costs and delays. After your death, it may take six months to a year or longer to convey title if you leave your house and other major assets to your heirs by your will. The probate costs vary widely by the state statutory legal fees involved. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, if you leave a small estate, many states have probate avoidance exceptions. But a home worth $100,000 or more usually puts you out of this small estate exception. The two major ways to prevent probate of your residence are (1) holding title in your revocable living trust, or (2) holding title in joint tenancy with right of survivorship with your heir. Either method will avoid probate court costs and delays. Howe...
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