Your estate consists only of those assets that are in your individual name at the time of your death, so there are ways to have assets pass outside of your estate. A trust is one way to avoid an asset passing through your estate, joint ownership with right of survivorship, payable on death provisions, beneficiary provisions. But it's important to understand that the estate definition includes only those assets that are in your individual name at the time of death.
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Michael L. Cahill is an attorney and certified public accountant providing estate planning, probate and tax services in the St. Petersburg, Seminole, Largo, Clearwater and Florida gulf beach communities.