There are a lot of new terms to learn if you are new to estate planning. One of the most intimidating for many people is probate.
Perhaps you’ve heard tales of people’s estates being stuck in probate for months or even years. Maybe you’ve had people tell you of their elaborate attempts to avoid it.
What is probate and should you try to avoid it?
Most people’s estates do go through probate, and most do not encounter any major problems as a result. It is also different from state to state, Some states have a very cumbersome and expensive probate process (which leads to people trying to avoid probate) while other states have a fairly simple probate process. This process acts as another level of security to ensure that your estate gets distributed according to your wishes and state laws.
Probate can delay the transfer of assets
If you want your beneficiaries to get your assets as fast as possible or at least have immediate access to funds, bear in mind that probate process may cause some delays. Some people choose to let the bulk of their estate pass through probate but move certain funds out of it into a trust so that family members have instant access to money to sustain them while probate plays out.
If you are unsure about probate, seek legal guidance to find out more. By making this effort, you can benefit from personalized, professional feedback that you won’t be able to access otherwise.