When making estate succession plans, one of the things people get concerned about is how to avoid probate. Probate is the process of validating a will, identifying the assets, settling liabilities and transferring the assets to the beneficiaries. It seems important enough, so why would you want to avoid it? There are several reasons for this:
To Reduce the Cost
This is probably the primary reason people avoid probate. When leaving assets to your beneficiaries, you want them to get most if not all of them. However, probate will reduce what your beneficiaries will receive, because there are several things that have to be paid, such as:
- Court fees
- Attorney fees
- Executor fees
- Asset appraisal fees
- Fees for legal publications/notices
If you have a large estate, then these fees can easily add up to huge sums of money. According to some estimates, the cost of probate can be as high as 7% in some places. Avoid probate and let your heirs get the money.
To Help Your Heirs Get their Inheritance Fast
The probate process can be fast or slow depending on a number of things, such as the size of the estate, the location of assets, types of properties and whether or not the will is contested. Don't forget that the longer the process takes, the higher the associated costs are likely to be. Since you can't be sure what will happen after your demise, and you want the best for your heirs, the best thing is to bypass the process altogether.
To Maintain Privacy
As you know, the probate process is a public one. Everything discussed, and every document involved in the process, becomes a matter of public record. Therefore, everybody who wants to know about your debts and assets will be able to find out. This may not be a concern for everybody, but you may have some things that you wish to keep away from the prying eyes of the public. Apart from that, there are some things, such as rare art collections, that you don't want the public to know about; their beneficiaries might become targets of thieves.
As you can see, there are valid reasons why you shouldn't subject your heirs to the probate process. Therefore, you need to talk to your estate planning lawyer and explore some of the options available to you. These options may include joint ownership, living trusts, and death beneficiaries, among others.
If you are looking for a lawyer that specializes in family law, visit Law Office of Alan L Ruder.Share