Many people interested in the subject of estate planning do research on the Internet. When doing online research, the topic of probate avoidance is often mentioned. Probate is the legal process of estate administration, and though this sounds rather routine on the surface there are difficulties and costs that go along with the process, and as a result people often choose to avoid it. In this blog we highlight three of the reasons why you may want to employ probate avoidance strategies.
The hands-on tasks that must be taken care of during the probate process are undertaken by the executor or personal representative. This individual is entitled to remuneration for his or her services, and the executor will need a probate lawyer to assist in the proceedings. So there are attorney fees, and the executor may also need to engage an accountant, an appraiser or even multiple appraisers, and perhaps an estate liquidation company. In addition, there are court fees. All of this can add up to a significant sum.
Most people would like to see their loved ones receive their inheritances in a fast and efficient manner. Probate slows things down considerably. Depending on the details, it can take years for an estate to be probated and closed, and at a minimum it will take a number of months.
If anyone wanted to contest the contents of your will, they would do so before the probate court. Implementation of strategies that enable probate avoidance closes this window of opportunity for the disgruntled.
As you can see, there are some pitfalls that go along with the probate process. If you would like to explore your options with regard to probate avoidance, our office offers free Living Trust seminars to help educate our community on this important estate planning and probate avoidance tool. For information on our free seminars and workshops, follow the “seminars” link at the top of this page.