Probate is the legal process that occurs after someone dies, where their assets are distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries. While probate can be a necessary and important process, it can also be time-consuming, expensive, and stressful for those involved. For this reason, many people choose to avoid probate altogether. In this post, we will explore why you would want to avoid probate.
One of the main reasons people want to avoid probate is because it can be a lengthy process. Depending on the complexity of the estate and any disputes that arise among heirs or beneficiaries, probate can take months or even years to complete. During this time, assets may be tied up in court and inaccessible to those who need them. This delay can cause significant financial hardship for surviving family members who rely on these assets for their livelihood.
Another reason people want to avoid probate is because it can be expensive. Probate fees are typically based on a percentage of the total value of the estate being administered. These fees can add up quickly and eat into the inheritance left behind for heirs or beneficiaries. Additionally, legal fees associated with probating an estate can also be substantial.
In addition to being time-consuming and expensive, probate can also be stressful for those involved. The court system is often slow-moving and bureaucratic, which can make navigating through it difficult and frustrating. Heirs or beneficiaries may also experience tension with each other over how assets should be distributed or managed during the probate process.
Lack of Control
Another reason people choose to avoid probate is because they want more control over how their assets are distributed after they die. By creating a trust instead of relying solely on a will, individuals have more flexibility in determining how their assets will be managed and distributed after they pass away.
Finally, avoiding probate can also help maintain privacy. Probate proceedings are a matter of public record, which means that anyone can access information about the deceased person’s assets and how they were distributed. This lack of privacy can be uncomfortable for some families who prefer to keep their financial affairs private.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust is a legal document that allows individuals to transfer their assets into a trust during their lifetime, which can then be managed by a trustee for the benefit of the beneficiaries. The trust can be changed or revoked at any time during the individual’s lifetime, making it a flexible estate planning tool. There are several benefits of having a revocable living trust.
One of the primary benefits of a revocable living trust is that it allows individuals to avoid probate. Probate is the legal process through which an individual’s assets are distributed after their death. It can be time-consuming and expensive as we have stated, and it may also result in the distribution of assets in ways that do not align with the individual’s wishes. With a revocable living trust, however, assets are transferred directly to beneficiaries without going through probate.
Another benefit of a revocable living trust is privacy. Unlike wills, which become public record after they are filed with the court during probate, trusts remain private documents. This means that individuals can keep their financial affairs confidential and protect their beneficiaries’ privacy as well.
A revocable living trust also provides flexibility in estate planning. Individuals can change or revoke the terms of the trust at any time during their lifetime if circumstances change or if they simply change their mind about how they want their assets distributed.
Peace of Mind
Finally, a revocable living trust can provide peace of mind for both individuals and their beneficiaries. By creating a plan for asset distribution ahead of time, individuals can ensure that their wishes will be carried out after they pass away. Beneficiaries may also feel more secure knowing that there is an established plan in place for managing and distributing assets.
Schedule a Consultation!
As you can see, you can take steps to make sure that your assets get in the hands of your loved ones in the optimal matter. If you are ready to do just that, you can schedule a consultation at our Campbell, CA estate planning office if you call us at 408-356-9200, and you can use our contact form to send us a message.