When you leave a will behind, your heirs will not take over the estate immediately after your demise. Your estate has to pass through probate, a court process that every estate has to go through.
During probate, the court validates the will and oversees the estate’s administration by the executor before distribution to the beneficiaries. However, it is best if you avoid this entire process altogether. Here is why.
Probate can be an expensive undertaking
You are not only looking at attorney and court fees but also probate fees, which are dependent on the size of your estate – the larger the estate, the more the costs. Your estate may have to part with thousands of dollars in probate-related expenses.
There is no guarantee of privacy
First, probate proceedings are accessible by third parties. Your family’s confidential information may be exposed, which can be rather unsettling.
It can take a long time to conclude
Probate is not always a smooth process. A will contest, or an incompetent executor can considerably delay the process, not to mention the time taken by proceedings and hearings. It may take months or years to finalize the probate process.
Remember, your heirs will not access the estate until the probate process concludes. It can be a dreary wait, especially if they are cash-strapped.
What are your options?
Now that you may want to avoid probate, it is crucial to know the options available at your disposal. It will help you achieve your estate planning goals without going through probate. For instance, you can make use of trusts or transferrable accounts to skip probate.
Understanding the pros and cons of each method will help you make the best choice and ensure you save the estate money while looking out for your loved one’s interests.