The process of probate can come into play when you are in direct possession of property at the time of your passing. If you had no estate planning documents at all, the probate court would use intestate succession laws to determine how your probate property should be distributed.
You should also be aware of the fact that a last will must be admitted to probate. If you decide to use a last will as your vehicle of asset transfer, the probate court would supervise the administration of the estate.
There is nothing inherently negative about the probate process if you look at it from an overview, but in practical terms, it can create difficulties for the inheritors. First and foremost, probate can be time-consuming, and the heirs do not receive their inheritances while the process is underway.
The exact duration of the probate process will vary depending on the circumstances, but a best case scenario would be eight months to a year in most areas of the country. This wait can be an inconvenience for some people, but for others who may have been depending on the decedent, it could cause genuine hardships.
Various different expenses can accumulate during probate, and this is another drawback. There can be legal fees, court costs, accounting expenses, appraisal fees, liquidation charges, and other miscellaneous expenses that can reduce the value of the estate before it is passed on to the heirs.
There is also a loss of privacy. Probate records are available to the general public, so anyone who has an interest can access these records to find out how the probate property was distributed.
Now that you have a basic understanding of the drawbacks, you may have questions about probate avoidance. There are various different ways that you can facilitate asset transfers outside of the probate process. The ideal strategy will vary depending on your objectives and the unique nature of your personal situation.
One probate avoidance tool that is often utilized is the revocable living trust. With this type of trust, the trustee that you name would be empowered to distribute assets to the beneficiaries after your passing outside of probate.
If you would like to obtain detailed information about probate and probate avoidance strategies, download our special report on the subject. This comprehensive report is chock-full of useful information, and you can access your copy free of charge.
To get your copy of the report, visit this page and follow the simple instructions: Free Probate Report.
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Your estate plan should be custom crafted to ideally suit your needs. If you would like to discuss your objectives with a licensed professional, send us a message through our contact page to set up a free consultation: Grand Forks ND Estate Planning Attorneys.
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