In estate planning circles, the word “probate” often carries a negative connotation. Indeed, for many people—especially those with valuable accounts and property—financial planners recommend trying to keep accounts and property out of probate whenever possible. That being said, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the deceased’s accounts and property as well as their family, and in some cases, it may even work to an advantage. Let us look briefly at the pros and cons of going through probate.
For some situations, especially those in which the deceased person left no will, the system works to make sure all accounts and property are distributed according to state law. Here are some potential advantages of having the probate court involved in wrapping up a deceased person’s affairs:
While probate is intended to work fairly to facilitate the transfer of accounts and property after someone dies, consider bypassing the process for these reasons:
Bottom line: While probate is a default mechanism that ultimately works to enforce fair distribution of even small amounts of money and property, it can create undue cost and delays. For that reason, many people prefer to use strategies to keep their property out of probate when they die. To receive a diagram showing laying out the probate process in visual form, please click here
An experienced estate planning attorney can develop a strategy to help you avoid probate, which can bring you peace of mind now and make life easier for the next generation. For more information about probate avoidance tools and your options, contact us today to schedule a consultation.