Helping Your Loved Ones Avoid Probate

probate stamp

Most people believe that making a will detailing their wishes is enough to ensure that their estate passes on to the heirs. They fail to realize that a will takes their estate through a lengthy and expensive process. Most people will burn the midnight oil to improve their skills or refine their business strategies to make their enterprises successful.

Others will adopt a frugal lifestyle wherein they save most of their income, which they can pass it on to their kids when they’re no longer around to care for them. However, gleaning from law firms such as Geoffrey Dietrich, most people commit one grave mistake when they pass on: they let all their estate go into probate.

A Raw Deal

After spending a lifetime accumulating wealth, the last thing you want is to cede a significant portion of it to the government as probate fees. Not only is the probate process expensive; it’s painfully slow. Probate is a court-supervised process that distributes your property to your heirs after your demise.

A probate court will appoint a representative to handle the estate’s affair as dictated by the terms of your will. The process kicks in automatically if you wait until your death to pass on the wealth to your descendants. It means that a will is not the best way of going about the inheritance process.

Intrusion of Privacy

The probate process entails attending public court hearings and proceedings, gathering assets, and paying off debts. During this process, your heirs can’t touch a cent of their inheritance. They must wait out the process however long it takes. Ideally, the probate court will receive a percentage of the estate value to cover the fees. If the process calls for a probate attorney, the cost can only go higher, leaving your loved ones with much less.

Probate registry sign on a building exterior

Again, probate is a public process, and as such, all proceeds from the process becomes a public record. Anyone can find the distribution of the assets in your estate. The files will detail ownership as well as the value of each asset. If you wish to keep your financial information private, you should find ways to avoid the probate process.

How to Sidestep the Probate Process

There are several ways to avoid the probate process. Under such an arrangement, you will put the assets you wish to pass on into a trust, but you will have full control over the trust until your demise. You only have to choose a successor trustee who will then distribute the assets as per your wishes. With a living trust, you not only get full control of the inheritance process; you can also keep it out of the probate court.

If you’re looking to pass on a sizeable chunk of your wealth to your heirs after you pass on, you should make arrangements to guarantee that your estate doesn’t go to probate. Not only is the process slow and tedious; it also comes at a considerable cost. Avoiding the probate process ensures that you loved ones get their inheritance without waiting for months or years.