In many situations, after someone dies, the probate process is simple. It’s straightforward and doesn’t cause many issues.
However, there are situations where the beneficiaries of an estate plan will experience quite a few speed bumps during probate. If you aren’t sure if you should take steps to ensure probate is avoided after you die, consider the following reasons.
1. It’s often slow
Sometimes, the probate process can take years to finalize. This is particularly the case when a will is contested or if there are complicated scenarios to consider.
2. It’s often expensive
The true cost of probate depends on the estate; however, it usually includes things like:
- Appraiser’s fees
- Executor Fees
- Lawyer costs
- Other administrative costs
The expenses continue to increase if the probate process takes longer than expected, which means even more money is taken out of the estate and from the beneficiaries.
2. It’s a public process
Because probate is a state legal process, what happens in probate court doesn’t stay private. All information and material that goes through probate is also public record. Avoiding probate is highly recommended if you want to keep things private.
3. Steps you can take to avoid probate
If you want to avoid probate for your estate, you can do a few things. These include:
- Have a small estate
- Give your assets away while you are alive
- Make your accounts payable on your death
- Own property jointly with someone else
- Create a living trust
As you can see, avoiding probate is possible, but it requires planning before you pass away. For most people, avoiding probate helps their beneficiaries avoid the long, costly process and makes things smoother and easier for everyone. Be sure to know what legal options you have to do this to achieve the desired results.