How to Avoid Probate
The loss of a family member is emotionally hard and is only made more difficult by the proceeding legal battle for their estate and savings. You may be surprised to know that avoiding the delays and costs of legal probate can be easy when you take the proper precautions before you pass. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Probate? The term “probate” refers to the process of formal administration of a person’s estate through the local probate court. The administration process comprises of filing numerous papers with the probate court to admit the will to probate, appoint the executor, inventory all of the assets and debts of the estate, pay the debts of the estate, and then distribute out the remaining proceeds.
Why avoid it? People are afraid of probate because it can be a lengthy and expensive process. Most estates take at least six months, and often over a year to complete. Probate attorney’s fees, executor’s fees, appraiser’s fees, bond premiums, probate court costs, creditors’ claims, and in rare cases estate taxes must be paid from the estate before its administration can be completed. Which might require selling off assets to generate cash for these payments.
How to avoid it! Avoiding probate can be a relatively simple process with a qualified attorney. However, it can be quite time-consuming, complicated, and confusing if you choose to do it yourself. When you complete it through an attorney, you know it’s done right. If you do it yourself, it will be up to your heirs who find out whether or not you did it right after you have passed.
The most typical way to avoid probate is to create a trust that you can revoke or amend during your lifetime and that becomes irrevocable upon your death. You can serve as your own trustee, and then nominate whoever you desire to serve as the successor trustee after you are gone. You currently fund your trust with your assets and list in your trust who receives them upon your death. Additionally, financial and healthcare powers of attorney, and a living will are customarily also used to avoid probate guardianship. It is recommended that you also do an accompanying last will and testament, just in case you do leave some assets requiring administration through probate.
For all of your legal needs, contact Bryan Johnson Attorney at www.bryanjohnsonattorney.com or give us a call at 614-457-3272. We are here to help with estate planning packages, probate court administration proceedings, probate litigation and more!