If you are currently planning your estate in Iowa, now is the time to take steps to prevent your estate from ending up in probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. According to The Motley Fool, what you do now will determine if probate is going to happen or not. You have to begin by consulting with professionals who can guide and help you with staying within legal limits and managing your finances and real property properly. 

Beyond working with the right people to set up your estate, you can also use specific legal structures to create an estate plan that is less likely to end up in probate. For example, for property, you could establish joint ownership. Upon your death, the property would simply transfer to the other owner. You should also make use of accounts where you can add a beneficiary. This will allow them to also be transferred upon your death. 

Another option is a living trust. This allows you to choose beneficiaries who will receive your assets and a trustee who will manage the trust and ensure it is distributed as you wanted. Once you put your assets in a trust, you no longer actually own them, the trust does, so when you die, ownership is simply transferred to the beneficiaries you named. This process can be complex and you must ensure it is done right or your estate will go to probate after all. This information is only educational and is not intended to be used as legal advice.