If you have not researched the subject, you may think that a Last Will is something that family members handle among themselves after you pass away. The executor that you select reads the Will to the group, and this individual then proceeds to distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes.
The truth is that things are not quite this simple. The probate court is involved when you utilize a Last Will to elucidate your final wishes. This court supervises the administration of the estate, and the tasks involved are indeed handled by the executor or personal representative.
When someone passes away, he or she may leave behind unpaid debts or judgments. Creditors and claimants have an opportunity to step forward seeking satisfaction during the probate process. In addition to this, probate affords interested parties with the opportunity to step forward and challenge the Will.
It should also be noted that probate is a public proceeding. Your Will and the related probate become a matter of public record, so nothing is kept confidential.
There are costs associated with probate as well. The court itself is going to impose a fee based on the value of the estate. Accountants, attorneys, appraisers, liquidators, and realtors can also be involved, and all of this assistance can be expensive.
The above are some of the reasons why probate is often avoided. You can arrange for a smooth, direct, and efficient transfer of assets outside of probate through the creation of a revocable living trust. If you are interested in setting up a revocable living trust, the first step would be to arrange for an informative consultation with a licensed and experienced estate planning attorney.
I also invite you to attend one of my free living trust seminars. For more information, follow this link: Free living trust seminars