Should You Avoid Probate at All Costs?

ProbateProbate is all about proving the authenticity of one’s last will and testament. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. Everybody knows how ugly things can get when the surviving family members of a deceased person squabble over their possible inheritance. Of course, mere squabbling doesn’t do it justice — everything in this process must be done in accordance with the law. People hire lawyers from firms like Asset Protection Attorney to protect against probate, but are their actions justified?

The One Time Probate is Good

An individual’s estate can be subject to probate in two ways: if the person distributed his estate using a will, or if that same person doesn’t have a will or estate plan at all. There would be times when probate would do good, such as in terms of protecting an estate from creditors. Filing a probate gives creditors a sort of ultimatum which they need to satisfy if they’re looking to file a claim. Once a specific amount of time after the probate’s filing has passed, creditors can’t make a claim anymore.

The Multiple Instances that Probate’s A Pain

In most instances, probate is lengthy and incredibly expensive, and it can inevitably drain the deceased’s relatives. Furthermore, probate essentially puts a stranglehold on the deceased individual’s cash. It can take weeks or months for relatives to gain access to the dead person’s cash reserves. During that time, family members would typically be stuck footing numerous bills, including funeral services and taxes. All in all, probates often lead to financial disasters.

Privacy is almost entirely thrown out during probate proceedings as well. This is due to the nature of probates and wills being matters of public records. Family members can’t hope to keep their affairs private for the duration of probate proceedings. In addition, the complicated and time-consuming process can consume much more resources –at times even considerably more than what families expect to inherit.

How Can Probate Be Avoided?

With the help of a qualified lawyer, avoiding probate is not that hard. Multiple options abound, including living trusts and joint property ownership. Trusts involve transferring an asset’s legal title to a trustee, which can be the asset’s owner himself or another member of the family. When the owner dies, the trustee must distribute the property according to the trust’s terms.

Joint ownership, on the other hand, have asset owners legally co-own their possessions with another person. When the asset owner passes away, the co-owner automatically inherits full ownership of the properties without requiring probate to transfer the title.

Probate proceedings rarely make financial sense, and when they do, their rulings typically only apply to the wealthiest of the lot. That is why avoiding such is highly recommended.