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Benefits of avoiding probate

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Probate

There is more to estate planning than just setting up inheritance to heirs and finding ways to minimize taxes. The process requires a lot of careful thought, planning, and proactive measures to ensure that loved ones do not go through probate.

Probate is the process of transferring a deceased person’s assets from the estate to the beneficiary. It is a court-supervised process that seems straightforward but may come with complications. When creating an estate plan, it is often helpful to take steps to minimize exposure to the probate court. Below are some of the reasons why:

It can take a long time

Probate involves different steps, including verifying the will’s validity, the appointment of an executor or administrator, and determining the heirs and beneficiaries. It will also involve asset inventory, processing payments for creditors and probate bills, and finally, distributing the assets to the heirs and beneficiaries.

Even a typical probate can take months to years to complete. This process can be even longer for contested or complex estates.

It can be expensive

Apart from being time-consuming, probate can be costly, too. The estate may need to pay for the court filing, accounting, and executor’s fees. There is also the potential for appraisal costs and certified copies of relevant documents.

Keep in mind that this does not include the potential cost of litigation.

It can be stressful

Loved ones and family members will handle most of the probate burden. They will most likely be closely involved in the process, which may seem like a full-time job for a long time. This may potentially lead to additional stress and may be a source of internal family conflict.

Careful planning and a sound strategy may keep assets out of probate. A well-written will in combination with other legal tools such as appropriate trusts may help family members avoid the need for probate.